Australian Infrastructure Fund's positive outlook for 2011

CEO of Australian Infrastructure Fund, Jeff Pollock, has given a optimistic outlook for 2011, stated that despite the effects of rising fuel costs, cautious consumer spending and natural disasters, several major Australian airports will record rising passenger numbers this year.

Mr Pollock also confirmed that the company is looking to shed non-core, non-airport assets. Shares in AIX were down 0.5% in trading on Friday, but have recovered 0.8% in the morning trading session on the ASX.

The strength of Australia's LCC market, and the fly-in, fly-out nature of workers tied to the mining boom are likely to contribute to the growth this year and for several years to come.

Australian Infrastructure Fund has around 90% of its portfolio invested in airports, but the CEO stated the ultimate aim is divest non core assets such as ports in Geelong and Portland and roads in Sydney. AIX is also looking to sell its European airport interests, which it holds via a 40% stake in Germany's Hochtief Airport Capital. No formal sales process is under way.

Aeroports de Paris reported the following traffic highlights in Mar-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 6.8 million, +0.8%; 
  • Aircraft movements: 61,735, 1.4%;
    • Paris CDG: 42,338, +0.7%;
    • Paris Orly: 19,397, +2.9%.

AdP passenger traffic and aircraft movements in 1Q2011 both up 3.9%.

Mexico's Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte's (OMA) annual shareholders' meeting approved the payment of a MXN400 million (USD34 million) cash dividend and elected that José Luis Guerrero Álvarez be the new Chairman. OMA shares were 1.1% higher. Fellow Mexican airport operator GAP rose 0.8% on Friday, while ASUR shares eased 0.1%.

Selected airport and airport operator share price movements (% change): 15-Apr-2011