24 Oct 2013

Auckland Airport confirms profit guidance

7:38 pm on 24 October 2013

Auckland International Airport has confirmed its expectation of an underlying profit after tax for this year of between $NZ160 million and $NZ170 million at the annual shareholders' meeting.

AAP reports the meeting was the last for Joan Withers since joining the board at its NZX listing 16 years ago, three of them spent as chair. She'll be replaced by Sir Henry van der Heyden.

Both Ms Withers and chief executive Adrian Littlewood praised increased government investment in tourism marketing, especially for growth in passenger numbers from Asia, and in particular China.

"By 2030, roughly 80% of the world's middle class, or four billion, will be on our back doorstep and within one flight of Auckland Airport," said Mr Littlewood.

"However, it is a competitive race with high stakes, and every country has their eyes on that prize.

"New Zealand needs to recognise that competitive challenge, be more ambitious and work better together as an industry so we can capture the growth."

In time, this would require the construction of a second runway at Auckland and a new domestic terminal.

But Mr Littlewood gave no hint of timing for those.

The shares fell 1.2% to $3.40 in trading on Thursday.