Auckland International Airport, the country's main gateway, reported an 11 per cent gain in full-year underlying earnings, broadly in line with guidance it gave in the first half, as aeronautical charges led a gain in revenue that outpaced growth in expenses.

Underlying profit, which strips out changes to investment and derivative valuations, was $169.9 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $153.8 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 6.1 per cent to $475.8 million while expenses gained 2.6 per cent to $120.6 million. Net profit jumped 21 per cent to $215.9 million.

The airport company forecast underlying profit for the 2015 year of $160 million to $170 million, suggesting it expects no earnings growth on that measure in the coming year. But the company said its preferred measure was earnings per share, which would be between 2 per cent and 9 per cent up in the year, after the company returned $454 million of capital and cancelled 10 per cent of its stock.

In the latest year, airfield income rose 7.4 per cent to $87.6 million while passenger services charge revenue rose 9.4 per cent to $131.6 million.


The bulk of aeronautical revenue comes from passenger charges and in the latest year, international passenger numbers, rose 5.1 per cent to 8.2 million while domestic passenger numbers rose 2.2 per cent to 6.9 million. That saw total passengers climb 3.8 per cent to 15.1 million.

Income from retailing rose 2.2 per cent to $127 million and car park income gained 6.1 per cent to $42.8 million. Total rental income rose 7 per cent to $59.3 million.

Auckland Airport's share of profit from associates climbed 17 per cent to $11.6 million, led by a 15 per cent gain to $8.1 million for North Queensland Airports, a 25 per cent increase to $1.7 million for Queenstown Airport and a 19 per cent gain to $1.9 million for the Novotel hotel.

The company will pay a final dividend of 7 cents a share, with tax paid to the company rate of 28 per cent, up 12 per cent from a year earlier.

The shares fell 0.8 per cent to $3.72 and have declined 4.9 per cent this year.

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See Auckland International Airport's results presentation here: