BAA loss triples

BAA’s losses for the first half of 2009 have more than tripled from the same period last year. In the last six months the airport operator lost £527 million (US$893 million) compared to £130.9 million ($221 million) in 2008. Cargo traffic fell 17.8 per cent to 719,000 tonnes from the first half of 2008.

Gatwick’s airfreight traffic fell 45.5 per cent to 34,000 tonnes as carriers moved en masse elsewhere while Heathrow was down 16.9 per cent to 584,000 tonnes and London Stansted, fell 14.8 per cent to 86,000 tonnes.

However, much of the financial loss was due to exceptional items, such as pension revaluation, as earnings increased by 28 per cent to £469.9 million ($794 million) and revenue rose 12.8 per cent to £1.1 billion ($1.8 billion).

BAA’s chief executive officer, Colin Matthews, said: “BAA’s underlying financial performance remains in line with our expectations. I am particularly pleased that Heathrow continues to show its resilience, but trading conditions for the industry remain difficult and we remain focused on improving service standards and delivering a more efficient operation.”

BAA’s owner, Ferrovial, has bee ordered to sell Gatwick, London Standsted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow in the next two years.

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