Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Belfast International Airport


John Simpson

By John Simpson

Belfast International Airport was sold in July 2012 to a Spanish subsidiary, TBI Airport Holdings for £105.9m. In 2013 the company was sold again to an American parent company, ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide, based in Houston, for an undisclosed amount.

More recently, ownership went to Airports Worldwide UK Holdings with Dutch owners and, in 2018, it was acquired by a French company, Vinci SA.

In the last five years, the airport has only paid a dividend to its shareholders in 2017 when an award of £1.5m was made.

Operating profits and pre-tax profits improved significantly in 2017 and 2018 following less successful results in 2016 and pre-tax losses in 2014 and 2015.

Turnover was up by 11% in 2018 while passenger numbers increased by nearly 8% to 6.3 million. This contrasts with numbers in 2014 when there were just over 4 million passengers. The increase in passenger numbers means that the average earnings per passenger (including aircraft landing fees and passenger charges) rose from £7.01p in 2017 to £7.25p in 2018, although this is still slightly lower than in 2014.

Capital spending increased in 2018 to £7.8m. This was attributed to replacement of fire appliances and x-ray equipment, environmental water treatment improvements and upgrades of infrastructure and airport operational systems.

The balance sheet value of shareholders' funds increased at the end of 2018 to £80.7m. In June 2016 the company refinanced its debt by taking a loan of £30.6m for a seven-year term. This loan is stated in the balance sheet.

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The company operates a defined benefit pension scheme. The actuarial assessment shows a deficit for the scheme of £2.7m during 2018 after posting a gain of £1.6m a year earlier.

Employment in the company has increased a little, averaging 212 people last year.

Belfast Telegraph