Queenstown Airport reports solid half-year result

runway evening


  • Net Profit after Tax (unaudited) for the 6 months ended 31 December 2016 of $6.2 million - up 0.1% on the previous corresponding period.
  • Total passenger numbers grew 16% to 960,000, with domestic passengers up 17% to 660,000 and international passengers up 13% to 299,000 on the previous corresponding period. New after-dark flights comprised 11% of total daily flights.
  • Interim dividend of $1.0 million paid to the airport’s two shareholders Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Auckland International Airport Ltd (AIAL).

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has reported a solid half-year result, achieving a Net Profit After Tax of $6.2 million* for the first six months of the 2017 financial year.

Revenue increased by 25 per cent to $19.6 million, driven by a strong retail performance as well as increased passenger numbers generating a higher overall spend per passenger.

Queenstown Airport Corporation Board Chairman John Gilks said the airport’s strong financial performance and sustained passenger growth continued to deliver value and benefits for shareholders and the communities in the Queenstown Lakes District for the period.

“Significant airfield, parking and technology infrastructure improvements are providing opportunities to enhance the airport experience for our visitors, staff working at the airport and the broader community,” Mr Gilks said.

“Sustained domestic and international passenger growth, driven by increased capacity and strong aircraft loadings, has helped us set new records in the six-month period, including achieving over 1.7 million passengers for the first time in a rolling 12-month period. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the airlines serving Queenstown Airport, who continue to deliver the capacity that facilitates this growth.”

During the six-month period QAC continued to make significant investment in the long term future of Queenstown Airport and the broader region. This included the transition to a new double shift operating model with the introduction of after-dark flights and ongoing investment in aerodrome infrastructure, strategic property acquisitions and advancement of a comprehensive 30 year master plan.

“Many of these costs have fallen in the first six months of FY17 and this is reflected in the financial performance, with revenue up 25 per cent but underlying NPAT growing a disproportionate 3 per cent, being impacted by these increased expenses. As an infrastructure business, capital investment adversely impacts profit in the early years but strong profits and returns are expected over time from these projects,” said Mr Gilks.

After-dark flight operations were a key priority for the first six months of the financial year, ensuring that the new runway and lighting infrastructure, airline preparations and airport staff moved seamlessly to double-shift operations.

The introduction of evening flights marked a step-change for the airport community as a major local employment hub. Moving to a double-shift operating model to cater for the extended operating window meant that the airport community almost doubled in size within six months, growing from approximately 350 staff to a 600-strong team.

The airport’s car parking expansion/traffic flow improvement programme also took a major step forward with more than 50 spaces (an increase of over 10%) added in November to assist with car parking demand during the busy summer months and beyond. The commercial area was expanded and redesigned to accommodate both commercial pick-up and drop-off and scoping began for a Park & Ride offering.

In line with its dividend policy, QAC has paid an interim dividend of $1.0 million to its shareholders, with 75.01 per cent payable to Queenstown Lakes District Council and 24.99 per cent to Auckland International Airport.

Queenstown Airport also supported its communities in several ways, backing the efforts of not-for-profit organisations and getting behind various regional events and promotions. These included the Queenstown Winter Festival, NZ Mountain Film Festival, Merino Muster, Gay Ski Week, Queenstown Marathon, Volunteer Fire Brigades (Queenstown and Frankton), Queenstown Coastguard, St John Ambulance, NZ Cancer Society, and the Lions Club.


* Underlying Net Profit After Tax for the six months was $6.3 million, up $0.1 million or 3 per cent compared to $6.2 million for the same period last year. Consistent with the Annual Report at 30 June 2016, underlying Net Profit After Tax has been arrived at by adjusting for additional costs to appeal the adverse tax ruling related to depreciation claimed on the Runway End Safety Area. Reported Net Profit After Tax was $6.2 million, up 0.1% compared to the same period last year.