Stansted Airport owner MAG reports increase in first half earnings

The departure lounge at Stansted Airport.

The departure lounge at Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport owner MAG has reported increased first-half earnings, driven by the introduction of new routes and the return of passenger numbers to pre-recession levels.

MAG, which also owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, said its four operations together handled a total of 32m passengers in the six months to September 30, up 7.7% on the first half of last year.

Group revenue grew by 8.3% to £482.3m, with a 4.5% increase in core aeronautical turnover complemented by 14.3% growth in car parking revenues and 11.1% in retail, while earnings were 6.6% higher at £215.9m.

Stansted, which was just short of its all-time annual passenger record at the end of September, before topping the previous 12-month high in October, handled 13.3m passengers during the first half, an increase of 6% on the same period a year earlier.

Manchester Airport achieved passenger growth of 10% to 15.2m while the group’s smaller airports saw combined growth of 3% to 3.5m.

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: “During the first half of the financial year, the group has continued to exceed its challenging financial targets and delivered good growth in both passenger numbers and revenue, driven by new route offerings and the completion of the significant terminal redevelopment at London Stansted.

“Our airports will continue to be amongst the most significant drivers of economic growth in their regions, as spare capacity enables them to grow more quickly than other airports.

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“With the decision on Heathrow now made, Government must quickly commit to developing a new aviation policy that will maximise these opportunities for both the country as a whole and the regions that our airports serve. The short-term priority for Government must be to make the most of the runways we already have in the 10- to 15-year period before any new runway is ready and we are calling on them to support faster rail services to Stansted,” he added.