29-Oct-2009 12:16 PM

BAA states worst of slump in passenger traffic now over, plans to return to bonds market

UK’s BAA made the following statements after the release of its financial results for first nine months ended 31-Sep-2009:

  • Revenue: Attributed 7.6% year-on-year increase to higher landing charges and strong retail performance (Reuters, 28-Oct-2009);
  • Pre-tax loss: Attributed loss to increase in pension deficit and a fall in passenger numbers (Bloomberg, 28-Oct-2009);
  • Traffic: BAA Chairman, Colin Matthews, stated he believes the worst of its slump in passenger traffic is now over, after reporting a 5.5% fall in passenger numbers over nine months ended 30-Sep-2009;
  • Bonds: Planning to re-enter the bond market soon, following the sale of London Gatwick Airport. Prior to the global financial downturn, Ferrovial had planned to sell approximately GBP4.5 billion in bonds to refinance its purchase of BAA;
  • Debt: Plans to use the GBP1.2 billion raised from the sale of London Gatwick to cover significant financing commitments until 2011 (RTE News, 28-Oct-2009). The sale of London Gatwick was GBP225 million less than Ferrovial had valued the airport at for accounting purposes (Financial Times, 28-Oct-2009).
  • Outlook: 2009 outlook remains in line with expectations;

BAA: “We would like to be in the bond market as soon as we can and we'd expect that to be relatively soon… As the economy recovers, passenger numbers will recover with it... I think we can say the worst is past… The price we got for Gatwick was the best price in current market conditions… There's no doubt if we had sold the airport two years ago we would have got a better price,” Colin Matthews, CEO. Source: Reuters/The Financial Times, 28-Oct-2009.

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