/ 14 August 2008

Acsa ready to fly higher

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) on Thursday reported a 9,1% increase in revenue to R2,8-billion for the year ended March 2008.

The increase is mainly attributable to strong performance in non-aeronautical revenues, which contributed 51% to group revenues. Non-aeronautical revenues increased by 20% to R1,4-billion, while aeronautical revenue remained constant at R1,4-billion, the company said.

Net profit was down 17,8% at R546-million from R664-million a year ago. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 1% to R1,624-billion.

Acsa experienced a 10,6% rise in departing passengers to 18,199-million.

Priscillah Mabelane, Acsa’s finance director, said the robust growth in non-aeronautical revenue was mainly attributable to increases from activities such as property, core retail and car hire as well as advertising.

Headline earnings for the year reduced by 18% to R546-million primarily due to an increase in borrowing costs associated with the company’s capital expenditure programme, she added.

“These results are good and reflective of the difficult operating and economic regulatory climate. Acsa is a young, dynamic and long-term infrastructure business. We will continue to focus on being efficient and deliver excellent service to our customers,” said MD Monhla Hlahla.

“Our balance sheet is still very strong,” she added.

Acsa said it is in expansionary phase of the business, which accounts for the extraordinarily high capex requirements.

The group has started a five-year capital expenditure programme that is in line with traffic demand expectations and South Africa’s preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

During the five-year period to 2012, Acsa will spend R19,3-billion, escalated to R22-billion, with about 62% of the expenditure within the first three years leading to the World Cup.

The group’s capital expenditure rose a massive 214,9% to R5,2-billion in the past year. That comprised primarily R1,703-billion spent at OR Tambo International, R603-million at Cape Town International, R1,925-billion at the new greenfield airport development at La Mercy and Durban International, and R298-million at the domestic airports.

In conclusion, Acsa’s chairperson, Dr Franklin Sonn, said the group remains focused on its commitment to deliver aviation infrastructure that South Africa needs for 2010 and beyond.

“Our management team and staff are absolutely determined that come 2010, we will be able to hoist South Africa’s flag high by delivering world-class service standards. What the Chinese are doing in the Beijing Olympics is surely an example for us in this regard. Our infrastructure delivery programme is on track and our airports will be ready to host visitors during the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond,” he added. — I-Net Bridge