Hong Kong airport profits fall for first time in 13 years amid soaring tax bill
Results come despite record income and rising passenger numbers
Profits fell at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) despite record income and rising passenger numbers, snapping a 13-year run of rises in earnings.
Attributable profit fell by 1 per cent to HK$8.27 billion, according to the latest annual report of the Airport Authority. However HKIA is still one of the most profitable airports in the world alongside London Heathrow.
The authority, which operates the airport, saw revenue swell 2.4 per cent to HK$18.62 billion and operating expenses fall 0.9 per cent to HK$5.79 billion in the last financial year. But its income tax bill soared21.2 per cent to HK$1.65 billion and depreciation and amortisation rose 9.5 per cent to HK$3.07 billion.
On Wednesday, Fred Lam Tin-fuk, authority chief executive, credited the robust performance to a workforce of 73,000 maintaining “the highest standards of safety and service”.
“In the year ahead, we will continue to improve our service quality and efficiency through partnerships with stakeholders who share our dream of strengthening HKIA’s competitiveness as both a leading international aviation hub and a driver of Hong Kong’s economy,” Lam said.
Passengers will benefit from the windfall in the short-term as a new air bridge, open-air roof garden, floor-to-ceiling green landscaping, expanded retail and catering options are planned for Terminal 1 by 2020.
On the operational side, passenger traffic broke through the 70.5 million mark, despite a reduction in flights last November with the switch to a new air traffic control system.
Freight throughout soared to 4.6 million tonnes, with HKIA remaining the busiest facility of its kind in the world for cargo.
The number of aircraft movements flatlined at 410,000, with little room for expansion in the short to medium term with a third runway currently being built and due to launch in 2024.
The airport is said to be operating at almost 99 per cent of capacity, defined by the annual 420,000 limit for take-offs and landings.
HKIA maintained its position of fifthin the world at the Skytrax World Airport Awards.
Changi Airport in Singapore was top for the fourth straight year, ahead of Tokyo Haneda, Seoul Incheon and Munich.
HKIA was No 1 for dining and in the top 10 for hotels, shopping, cleanliness and staff services.