Company accounts show that the Ayrshire airport made a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2013. The figures reveal the escalation of Prestwick Airport’s financial problems, coming on the back of a £2.3m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2012.
Weeks before the end of the 2012/13 financial year its then owners, New Zealand-based owner Infratil, had put the airport up for sale on the open market.
At the time the owners said they were concerned about dwindling passenger numbers, particularly during the school holidays. They had suffered a 20% fall in the number of people passing through the airport in July 2012 compared to the same month in 2011.
Infratil failed to find a private buyer for the site and faced being closed down altogether before the Scottish Government stepped in and snapped it up for a £1 on November 22.
With fixed assets valued at only £4m, Prestwick Airport had net liabilities of £16m at the end of the 2012/13 financial year.
The company accounts state that Prestwick Airport is only a going concern if its owner is willing to continue funding deficits.
They state that such an undertaking has been made by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish ministers.
The Scottish Government is seeking ways to turn around the airport’s fortunes, seeking new airlines that could use it.
At present, Ryanair is the only operator flying scheduled flights in and out of Prestwick.
A significant percentage of the airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity.
Passenger, ATM and freight statistics for Prestwick in recent years
Number of passengers (thousands)
2013 1,144,568 (up + 7.3% on 2012)
2012 1,066,917 (down – 17.6% on 2011)
2011 1,295,512 (down – 22% on 2010)
2009 1,817,274 (down – 27.4% compared to 2008)
2008 2,414 (thousand)
Air Transport Movements
Number of ATMs (thousands)
2009 15,478 (down – 29.8% compared to 2008)
2008 20 (approx – thousands):
2012 10,314 (down – 13% on 2011)
2011 11,846 ( down – 3% on 2010)
2009 13,385 (down 41% on 2008)
2008 22,966 (down -27% on 2007)
Prestwick Airport to be sold to Scottish Government for £1 – and other failing regional airports look to business parks and housing
Infratil, which currently owns Prestwick Airport, has said the airport is expected to be sold to the Scottish Government for £1. The sale is due to be completed by Wednesday, 20 November. Infratil said the airport’s value had been “fully impaired” – effectively written off – after Prestwick and sister airport Manston in Kent were collectively valued at £11 million in March. Infratil bought Prestwick from Stagecoach in 2001 for £33m. Manston is being sold to Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag for an expected £400,000. Scottish Ministers are taking over Prestwick airport, which is losing £7m a year, to avert its closure and safeguard 1,400 jobs, including 300 at the airport. Infratil described its investment in the airports to have been “unsuccessful for Infratil” and that while such regional airports looked like a good investment 5 years ago, they now are not as they are reliant on “robust air traffic growth driving demand.” Other failing airports are looking to create business parks on their land, and housing – to try and make money out of them. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18387
Glasgow Prestwick Airport may be given to the Scottish Government for nothing
October 11, 2013 The owners of Glasgow Prestwick, New Zealand company Infratil, have suggested they may give away the airport for nothing. The Scottish government has announced it is negotiating to buy the unprofitable airport, and hopes to conclude detailed negotiations with the company by 20 November. Scottish government said it was the “only realistic alternative to closure”. In a statement on its website, the company said it did not expect any transaction “to give rise to material proceeds”. Prestwick was put up for sale last March after heavy annual losses. Several investors expressed interest but no offers were made. Infratil has also been trying to sell its other unprofitable UK airport, Manston. In May 2013, Infratil announced that it had written down the value of both airports to £11m. Infratil has agreed to ensure the airport is kept fully open and operational during the negotiation process. In 2012 Prestwick had around 1 million passengers, compared to 2.4 million at its peak in 2005. Click here to view full story…
Ryanair’s new routes help lift the gloom at Prestwick
5.12.2012 Prestwick – currently up for sale – has welcomed the extra Ryanair flights, which will launch next year. As Ryanair announced the services to 2 Polish airports, it said a move to Glasgow International Airport had been ruled out. The airline also unveiled six new routes from Edinburgh. Tom Wilson, chief executive of Prestwick’s owners, Infratil Airports Europe, said it would help reassure potential investors about the future of the airport. Ryanair is planning to increase the frequency of its existing services at both Edinburgh and Prestwick and reverse two years of decline in which passenger numbers have fallen by 18%. Prestwick will see new routes to Rzeszow and Warsaw Modlin, taking the total to 27 routes and increasing the number of weekly flights from 86 to 95. Click here to view full story …..
Price of Prestwick and Manston slashed to just over one fifth the price Infratil paid for them in 2003 and 2005
November 10, 2012 The value of Prestwick Airport has fallen to under a quarter of its level 2 years ago as owner Infratil struggles to find a buyer. The New Zealand-based company yesterday put the value of Prestwick and Manston Airport in Kent at £10.5 million. They had been valued at £32m earlier this year. Infratil bought it for £33.4m in 2003. A valuation carried out at the end of the financial year in March 2011 said the airports were worth £44m. Both airports were put on the market in January when Infratil said they were under-performing. It had been hoped a sale would be completed by early next year but no buyer is forthcoming. Passenger numbers at Prestwick have dropped to just under 1.1 million a year – less than half the level of 3 years ago – as Ryanair, which provides the bulk of passenger flights, has relocated many services to Edinburgh. The lack of investment has left Prestwick looking tired and off-putting to potential buyers. Click here to view full story…
MP raises Prestwick Airport investment fears
September 25, 2012 Local MP, Brian Donohue, has complained that a lack of investment in Prestwick Airport by its New Zealand-based owner Infratil is damaging prospects of a sale and jeopardising its future. Upkeep at the airport had suffered following Infratil’s decision to put it on the market in March 2012 – and there is no progress yet on selling it. Numbers of passengers and freight at Prestwick have fallen markedly in recent years. Infratil said: “The reality is that when a business is for sale, the current shareholder is unlikely to spend any more than they need to.” Passengers were down 47% in 2011 compared to the peak in 2007, and freight was 71% down in 2011 compared to its peak in 2000. Click here to view full story…
Passenger downturn prompts slump in Prestwick airport’s valuation
May 17, 2012 Passenger numbers at Prestwick in 2011 half the level of 2007. There were 1.2 million passengers in 2011. This fall in passengers has greatly reduced the price of the airport, which Infratil is trying to sell. Financial figures put the value of Prestwick and Kent Manston airports at £33 million ($64.7 million), down from £44m a year ago. Prestwick and Manston contributed an after-tax loss of $37.4 million (£17.9 million) in the year. Both airports were put on the market in March after Infratil said they were not performing. A buyer has yet to be identified for Prestwick. One reason for the slump of passenger numbers to the lowest level in a decade is the decision by Ryanair to focus growth at Edinburgh airport. Aviation analysts have questioned whether Prestwick would be able to recover from the decline that began late in 2008. It has long been reliant almost entirely on services offered by Ryanair. Click here to view full story…