Auckland International Airport (AIA) is one of the largest infrastructure assets in the country, with its underlying profitability heavily correlated with both international tourism and business activity in New Zealand.
Given the context, it's stretching credibility that AIA, and other companies in the tourism sector, have maintained their operations to any degree at all. It's a credit to the mammoth effort made by all stakeholders.
For investors, there has likely been a change in how they have viewed AIA as an investment over the past 12 months.
Auckland International Airport had a distinct year of two halves in its last financial year (ending June 30). For the first half of the year it retained an aura of success — planning for new terminal and runway development, and encouraging passenger and airline growth, all amid increased rentals from its growing property portfolio.
For investors, that continued expectations for a steady stream of increasing dividends and rising capital returns from one of the NZX's best-performing blue chips over the past decade.
Then came the escalation in the global response to Covid-19. That escalating response was reflected in AIA's investor updates to the market.
On February 20, AIA indicated only a slight reduction in 2020 underlying net profit estimates, to around $260m-$270m.
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On March 13, only three weeks later, this range was downgraded to $210m-$235m.