Hong Kong International Airport revenues and profit reductions less severe than traffic reductions


Airport Authority of Hong Kong, which operates Hong Kong International Airport, reported a USD168 million net profit in the six months ended Sep-2009, for its best ever net profit margin, of 30.2%.

Hong Kong International Airport net profit margin: FY2005 to 1HFY10 (financial year ended 31-Mar)

Revenues and profit reductions of under 5% in 1HFY2010

Revenues slipped 4.7% to USD557 million in the period, as airport charges slumped 15.5%, with security charges and aviation security services also down, by 5.8% and 5.6%, reflecting a reduction in aircraft movements and traffic at the airport. Commercial/Retail revenues, however, increased in the period.

Hong Kong International Airport revenue break down for the six months ended 30-Sep-09 and year-on-year growth

Traffic negatively affected by global economic crisis

The reductions in the airport's revenues and profitability levels were, however, less severe than the traffic reduction experienced at Hong Kong International Airport in the six month period, during which the airport was negatively affected by the global economic downturn, whose effects first impacted in 2H2008.

Airport Authority Hong Kong financial highlights: Six months ended 30-Sep-2009


% Change

Revenue (mill)



Operating costs



Operating profit (mill)



Net profit (mill)



Passenger numbers (mill)^



Cargo volume (mill tonnes)^



Aircraft movements



Total passenger throughput fell 6.4% to 23 million, cargo volume dropped 11.5% to 1.68 million tonnes, and air traffic movements dipped 8.5% to 138,600 in the six-month period.

Hong Kong International Airport revenue growth and passenger number growth

Seeing signs of "market stabilisation and recovery"; "encouraging" cargo trend in Oct-2009

However, there was cause for optimism. The Airport Authority stated, "signs of market stabilisation and recovery have been seen in recent months, particularly in air cargo" - usually a good forward indicator of economic activity.

In Oct-2009, cargo volume recorded its first growth in 14 months (albeit off a substantial low), and Nov-2009 figures so far show a "strong rebound" in cargo services demand.

Hong Kong International Airport: Oct-2009



% change

Passenger numbers (mill)



Cargo volume (tonnes)



Aircraft movements



Upon the release of theses Oct-2009 traffic results, CEO, Stanley Hui, commented, "it is encouraging to see cargo throughput end the downward trend and increase by 1.3% in October. Though this is just a mild improvement made on Oct-2008 - which itself saw a drop compared to Oct-2007 - it nevertheless is an encouraging change for the better during a challenging time".

Hong Kong International Airport passenger and cargo growth: Aug-2007 to Oct-2009

The CEO also expressed the hope the strong pre-Christmas growth momentum could last and give a further boost to the recovery of the industry.

Airlines adding capacity at Hong Kong

Mr Hui added that airlines are now responding to the early signs of recovery by reinstating capacity or routes which had been reduced or suspended since the global financial crisis commenced last year.

Three passenger and 11 freighter airlines have joined the airport or resumed services since Apr-2009, adding 18 passenger and 30 all-cargo services per week. Approximately 90 airlines are now operating from the airport.

"Confident" in long-term prospects; benefiting from China growth opportunities

Mr Hui added that the authority is "confident in the airport's long-term prospects as it is well positioned to capitalise on the tremendous growth opportunities arising from the Mainland's robust economy and the increasing economic integration between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta".

In other airport news, two major facilities, the USD13.5 million North Satellite Concourse and the permanent SkyPier, will have soft openings by the end of 2009. The North Satellite Concourse covers 20,000 sqm and will have capacity for 5 million passengers p/a.

The Authority is also working on a study on developing the midfield area to provide extra aircraft stands, apron facilities and a new passenger concourse to accommodate the rise in aviation demand when runway capacity grows to 68 aircraft movements per hour by 2015.

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