Syd Airport flags softer passenger growth

Sydney Airport experienced subdued growth in passenger numbers in the first four months of 2019 and expects much the same for the rest of the year.

The operator of Australia’s biggest airport, Kingsford Smith, said Friday the expected softening followed several years of growth that had raised expectations.

“The base number gets higher every year, and the bar gets raised every year,” chief executive Geoff Culbert said in his address at the company’s annual general meeting.

“But we still remain confident about the growth profile of the aero business in the medium and longer term, particularly given the world of possibilities that remain.”

Advertising revenue is tipped to lift when the airport assumes control of the Qantas terminal in July, with management also eyeing improvements the terminal’s retail, food and beverage offering in the vein of the Jetstar and Tiger terminal makeover.

Mr Culber said the airport was well advanced on plans for a new 450 room premium hotel on the domestic side, which should open in 2021, and flagged additional hotels on the International side over time.

Shares in the company lifted by 8.0 cents, or 1.07 per cent, to $7.59 by 1031 AEST.

The airport’s share price has lifted 12.78 per cent so far in 2019 after a decline in December, and is 7.1 per cent higher than $7.09 a year ago.

Meanwhile, workers have announced a protest at the airport’s Sydney AGM to call for better and safer jobs.

The Transport Workers Union said the claim served on the airport was par of widespread industrial action plan over the year as 200 enterprise agreements covering 38,000 transport workers expire.


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