26 Feb 2010

Plan for budget hotel at Auckland airport

4:14 pm on 26 February 2010

Rising passenger numbers helped lift half year profit at Auckland International Airport Ltd and the company has now announced a plan to build a budget hotel.

Auckland Airport Ltd made a profit of almost $54 million in the six months to the end of December - more than four times the $9.8 million it made in the same time the previous year.

Chief executive Simon Moutter says there are signs of a recovery in demand for travel, with passenger numbers climbing between October - December.

The previous half-year period included a writedown of $41.8 million of land holdings. Once this cost is stripped out, the underlying profit was $51.6 million.

The company will pay a dividend of 3.75 cents per share.

The company also announced it intends to develop a 125-room two star Formule 1 Hotel in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The hotel will be on the grounds of the airport. It will be run by the French hotel group Accor Hospitality, which also runs a four-star Novotel hotel there.