Buoyed by the busiest six months in the airport’s history with a record 23.5 million passengers (+4.7% year-on-year), Gatwick Airport posted a +5.2% rise in revenues to £411.8 million (US$626 million) for the half year ended 30 September 2015.
Combined with careful cost management, this resulted in a +6.8% rise in EBITDA to £241.0 million (US$367 million) and a pre-tax profit of £135.2 million (US$205.7 million) on a consolidated basis
Retail income rose +1.4% to £85.5 million (US$130.6 million) but, importantly, net income per passenger decreased by -3.0% to £3.60 (US$5.48) due to “challenging trading” in the duty free and tax free category. Income from duty free and tax free declined by -2.5% period-on-period.
The specialist shop category continued to perform well with per-passenger income broadly in line with traffic growth despite some impact from landside closures as a result of the North Terminal Development programme. Summer 2015 saw several new openings amid an ongoing revamp of the retail offer, including a new Boots store in the South Terminal while Simply Food was also updated in both terminals (a new store in North Terminal arrivals and an extended and modernised unit in the South Terminal).
“Where we have opened new or modernised stores, performance has been strong and we have delivered strong growth compared to last year,” the airport company said.
FOOD & DRINKS AND CAR PARKING FLOURISH
Food & drinks performed well. “Catering remains a particular highlight, where we have grown per passenger income by +2% compared to last year,” said the company. Summer 2015 saw several new openings, including Wondertree restaurant in the South Terminal departure lounge along with Wagamama in the North Terminal departure lounge. Landside the company opened a new Costa Coffee in both terminals.
“Passengers can look forward to some further development in this area as we open new restaurants in both terminals in the second half of the year,” Gatwick Airport said.
Car parking income rose +7.4% and net income per passenger increased +11.9% to £1.60 (US$2.43) due to improved yield management, valet capacity increases and cost savings.
Gatwick Airport said that the mid-year results were “in line with expectations” as it continues to compete to attract new airlines and routes, invest in new facilities, and deliver an excellent service to passengers.
Specialist retail and food & drinks both performed strongly
Car parking revenue was buoyant but retail income per passenger was hit by challenges in the core duty free and tax free sectors
Passenger traffic hit record heights in the six-month period
Gatwick’s passenger traffic growth is a combination of more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes – load factors have increased to 87.2%