Sydney Airport slumps on lockdowns, pins hopes on vaccines

Takeover target Sydney Airport has unveiled the results of Australia’s lockdowns with net operating receipts down 98 per cent to $1.8 million and passengers down 36.4 per cent for the half-year to June 30.

Total revenue fell 33.2 per cent to $341.6 million for the half year over a period that the airport lapped lockdowns imposed in 2020. No dividends were declared.

On a statutory basis its half-year loss widened to $197.6 million, versus $128.5 million in the prior period.

Chief executive Geoff Culbert said, “It was a challenging six months, but we were encouraged to see passenger traffic rebound strongly every time borders were open. From January to April, we recovered to 65% of our pre-COVID domestic passengers and in just over two months between late April and June, trans-Tasman traffic recovered to more than 40% of pre-COVID levels. We’re optimistic that this trend will repeat itself as the vaccine program gains momentum and we see a sustained easing of restrictions.”

It said its balance sheet remains strong with total liquidity of $2.9 billion.

On Monday the airport’s board rejected an improved takeover bid of $8.45 per share.

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