Busy summer boosts earnings and Stansted Airport owner MAG

Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted Airport.

Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Stansted airport owner MAG today posted increased first-half revenue and earnings, following its busiest ever summer.

MAG, which includes Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, carried a total of 29.7million passengers in the six months to Septemer 30, up 5.7% on the same period last year, with Stansted contributing 12.5m to the figure, a year-on-year increase of 10.6%.

The percentage increase at Stansted equates to an additional 1.2m passengers, which MAG said exceeded the growth achieved this summer by either of its main London rivals, Heathrow (up 900,000) or Gatwick (1m).

The group added that Stansted was now handling 4.8m more passengers than when it acquired the airport two-and-a-half years ago, an increase of 27.4%.

Group-wide revenue grew by 5.7% compared with last year’s first half to £445.5million, with earnings before interest, tax and depreciation rising by 10.7% to £202.5m. At Stansted, revenue grew by 4.6% to £153.6m, with earnings totalling £78.83m.

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: “The first half of the year has seen sustained growth, outperforming our challenging targets in many areas, with record numbers of passengers using our airports.

“Our group operating model continues to deliver benefits and support our airports in competing to attract new passengers and airlines.”

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Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted, said growth in revenue had been driven increased discretionary spend, resulting from investment in new retail and food facilities as part of an £80m transformation of the main terminal building, now nearing completion, and in additional car parking.

Changes still to come included a renewal of the baggage system, more gates at border control and further investment in security.

And he added that the successful launch of long-haul leisure flights by Thomas Cook this summer – which would see capacity in this sector treble next year, with Thomas Cook expanding its programme and being joined by Thomson – underlined the potential for scheduled long-haul services from Stansted, with talks continuing with a number of potential operators.