Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Airport

Company Report

Since 2008, the George Best Belfast City Airport has been owned through an English company, Anka Acquisitions. It was bought from Groupe Ferrovial, a Spanish group.

In 2015, the local company enjoyed an improving operating profit on its activities. After the change in ownership in 2008, operating profits decreased to a low point in 2012. The results in 2012 were compounded by the impact of the then withdrawal of the services of British Midland, later replaced by British Airways (BA). Also in 2012 the airport company took an impairment charge of nearly £1.1m against its runways as a result of the then withdrawal of an application to extend the runway.

The period of 2012 to 2015 has been one of recovery and restabilisation as the range of services has increased. Passenger numbers at 2.25m were unusually low in 2012 and have recovered to 2.69m in 2015.

During 2015 the airport paid dividends of £1,388,000 to the parent company shareholder which was smaller than £3,128,000 paid in 2014. During 2015 the local company carried out a capital restructuring of the balance sheet by transferring £6,445,000 from its share premium account to its distributable reserves.

Each year the airport pre-tax profits are adjusted by the deduction of annual interest charges on borrowed funds. In 2015, the greater part of £27m of borrowed funds was made available through the parent company. Previously about half of this borrowing had been arranged through the bank.

Although several hundred people work in and around the airport, the number of direct employees by the company is relatively small. In 2012 an average of 91 people were employed. This has remained stable although the total fell to 88 people in 2015.

Capital spending last year was just over £1m, similar to spending in 2014. However, capital spending has recently been lower than the higher averages in 2008 to 2012.

Belfast Telegraph