Airport shopping boosts BAA profits

The boom in airport shopping helped boost pre-tax profits at BAA, the privatised group which runs Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, by 6 per cent to pounds 397m in the nine months to the end of December.

The figures confirm the increasing importance of retailing to BAA. Cash earned from shopping concessions in airport terminals surged by 10.9 per cent over the past nine months to pounds 331m. Income from property also increased substantially, jumping 8.4 per cent to pounds 168m.

Last summer Sir John Egan, BAA's chief executive, said the proportion of revenues accounted for by retailing had grown to 44.4 per cent, suggesting shopping could soon overtake the core airports business as the main cash generator. Yesterday's results emphasised this trend, with retailing accounting for more than 46 per cent of revenues.

In contrast, the group said revenues from its regulated airport and traffic charges had climbed by a more modest 5.5 per cent to pounds 385m. BAA's airports, which also include Glasgow, handled 76.6 million passengers in the nine months to 31 December, a rise of 4.4 per cent.

Total revenues increased by 7.8 per cent to pounds 1.064bn, while operating profits rose by 9 per cent to pounds 425m. BAA shares fell 6.5p to 525.5p.

Separately, it emerged yesterday that BAA had reduced its stake in a consortium set up to bid for a role in the privatisation of Australia's airports. The group had originally had a 49 per cent share in the venture, Australia Pacific Airports Corporation (Apac).

This will now drop to 29 per cent in the hope that a more "Australian" feel to the group will have a better chance of winning the bidding. So far Apac has put in bids to run airports in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

"We have been persuaded that our consortium is more likely to succeed with a higher level of Australian equity. However, the bid remains in all respects consistent with our international strategy, providing both the rate of return we seek and the opportunity to expand our experience of overseas airports," a BAA spokeswoman said yesterday.

However, BAA was silent on its biggest current concern, whether it will fall within the remit of Labour's planned windfall tax on the privatised utilities.

In recent weeks BAA has stepped up its lobbying as clearer signals emerged from Labour that it would include the tax in its first budget. Party sources have suggested that the bill would include blanket wording covering all the "privatised utilities", though BAA insists its operations can no longer be included in this category.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map