BAA gets foreign management offers: Higher revenues from retailing cancel out restrictions on air traffic charges

The privatised airports group BAA has received inquiries about possible management contracts from operators of up to 30 overseas airports, Sir John Egan, chief executive, said yesterday.

He was speaking as BAA, which runs Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and four other British airports, reported an 8.7 per cent increase in half-year pre-tax profits to pounds 237m.

Rising revenues on airport retailing offset a squeeze on air traffic charges from the Civil Aviation Authority's tight price cap.

Profits were struck after a lower charge of pounds 2.2m against property values and a pounds 2m shortfall of income from duty-free shops, due to new concession terms. The interim dividend rose by 8 per cent to 6.75p.

For the first time revenues from airport shops, which jumped by 53 per cent to pounds 249.5m in the six months to 30 September, exceeded income from traffic charges. These fell slightly from pounds 245.7m to pounds 244m despite a 4.6 per cent rise in the number of passengers as traffic charges were pegged at eight points below the rate of inflation.

Stansted saw passenger numbers rise by 14.8 per cent. Its operating loss halved to pounds 6.9m and BAA expects it to break even by 1996-97.

Gatwick has been losing scheduled airline custom to Heathrow, but its holiday market remains strong, with October charter traffic up 15 per cent.

Retail income was distorted by changes in the terms of tax-free concessions run by Allders and Forte from a turnover-related to a management-fee basis. Underlying revenue rose by 10 per cent.

Sir John confirmed that BAA was talking to IRI, the Italian state holding company, about buying a stake in Rome's Fiumicino airport and a management contract. But it was 'early days' to talk of a deal.

BAA's existing overseas contract, at Pittsburgh in the US, is expected to generate a net profit of dollars 1m this year. Sir John said some overseas operators regarded their airports as a millstone and were attracted by BAA's management skills.

BAA added 50 shops during the half year, bringing the total to 400 and increasing floor space by 7 per cent to 570,000 square feet. Another 20,000 square feet is set to open this year. Income from specialist shops such as Aquascutum, Jaeger and Bally has risen by 44 per cent. Lillywhites and Liberty are due to open at Heathrow before Christmas and Dixons will follow in the spring.

The company forecasts growth in passenger traffic through its seven airports of 3.8 per cent a year until the end of the century, slightly faster than its last long-term forecast in 1991. Traffic through Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted is estimated to rise by a third to 91 million.

Sir John said BAA was not interested in acquiring further municipally owned airports such as Manchester, preferring the route of overseas expansion.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past