The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) announced that Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) set new records for both revenue and profit in the financial year ended 31 March 2012. Profit attributable to the equity shareholder went up 32.2% year on year to HK$5,336 million in fiscal 2011/2012, while revenue rose 14.8% to HK$12,154 million.
AAHK declared a final dividend of HK$3,900 million to the Hong Kong SAR Government. With the latest dividend, AAHK will have paid the Government HK$25,980 million in terms of dividends and return of capital since fiscal 2003/2004.
During the year, passenger volume increased 6.6% to 54.9 million and flight movements rose 7.2% to 339,000. Although cargo performance softened 5.9% to 3.9 million tonnes, HKIA remained the world's busiest international cargo airport, a position it has held since 1996. HKIA has also been ranked the third-busiest airport for international air passengers since 2009.
AAHK Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui Hon-chung said he was encouraged that both revenue and profit have seen double-digit growth for two consecutive years. "The strong performance is a result of healthy traffic growth, and it is indicative of our on-going efforts to contain costs, enhance operational efficiency and explore every possible means to increase revenue by leveraging HKIA's growing passenger traffic."
Commenting on AAHK's financial position, William Lo Chi-chung, Executive Director, Finance, said, "In fiscal 2011/2012, AAHK grew revenue by 14.8% while containing operating expenses at 9.8%. This resulted in an improved EBITDA margin of 67.8%, which was up from 66.3% a year ago. Return on equity also saw year-on-year improvement, growing from 11.1% to 14.2%. This excellent financial performance, together with our AAA credit rating, has enabled us to efficiently finance our growth projects that will help meet the airport's forecast short- to medium-term traffic demand in a safe, secure and sustainable manner."
Mr Hui added, "All three of our air traffic categories in 2011/2012 surpassed our 20-year forecast by two to three years. In addition to its top rankings in international cargo and passenger volumes, HKIA has been the world's busiest cargo airport for the second consecutive year and, for the first time, a top 10 busiest passenger airport in the world. Although the sluggish global economic growth and the Eurozone crisis continue to cast an uncertain shadow over the global economy, we are confident in HKIA's long-term air traffic demand."
To meet its increasing traffic demand, the airport is expanding its capacity and facilities with short-, medium- and long-term development programmes. In 2011 AAHK launched a HK$500 million rejuvenation programme to upgrade HKIA's terminal buildings, airport facilities and operation systems. In addition, the HK$10.2 billion Midfield and HK$2.2 billion West Apron developments will enable the airport to meet its medium-term air traffic demand by adding a total of 36 new parking stands and a Midfield Concourse that will be able to handle 10 million passengers per year upon completion in 2015.
The long-term plan centres on expanding HKIA into a three-runway system. After receiving the in-principle approval from the Government this March, AAHK kick-started the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process by submitting the project profile to the Director of Environmental Protection.
"The project profile, the first step of the EIA process, is meant to set out the project scope and identify potential environmental issues that we foresee at this stage. We will carry out extensive, thorough studies on the potential impacts arising from HKIA's expansion into a three-runway system according to the scope set out by the Director of Environmental Protection in the EIA Study Brief. We are committed to full compliance with the statutory EIA process, and will explore every possible way to avoid, minimise and mitigate any environmental impact that may arise from the proposed airport expansion," Mr Hui remarked.
In terms of environmental performance, HKIA is on track to achieve its pledge to reduce its carbon intensity 25% from 2008 emission levels by 2015, currently standing at 10% below the 2008 readings. Building on many years of work to minimise the environmental footprint of daily airport operations, AAHK and 40 business partners made another pledge in May this year to make the airport the greenest in the world. More than 400 environmental initiatives have been devised to improve HKIA's environmental performance, covering areas spanning carbon reduction, waste management, electrification of the airside saloon fleet, reduction of electricity consumption and more.