Heathrow Airport had its busiest ever first half of the year in 2018 with strong financial and passenger growth.
The UK hub was given approval by Parliament for a third runway in the period and handled 38.1 million passengers, up 2.5 per cent on the 37.1 million in the same period last year with growth across all markets.
Strong retail sales and continued passenger growth pushed revenues up 2.3 per cent to £1,405 million and increased adjusted EBITDA by 1.6 per cent to £848 million. Pre-tax profit fell 6.9 per cent to £95 million from £102 million in the first half of last year.
Heathrow said it continues to invest responsibly in improving the passenger experience, with operating costs increasing slightly after investments to boost resilience, security and service.
The airport said there is strong appetite to invest in Heathrow as nearly £1 billion in global financing was raised in 2018 to invest in the UK’s hub airport, “demonstrating Heathrow’s attractiveness to global investors”.
In the period, Heathrow also went electric as through a £6 million investment, the gateway installed more sustainable transport options and giving it the densest electric charging network in Europe.
The airport’s expansion project is well underway, and Heathrow said it is now reviewing over 100 fresh ideas from UK businesses and entrepreneurs to help deliver the project more innovatively, sustainably and affordably. This is in addition to finalising visits to 65 UK sites bidding to help build the project through large-scale offsite manufacturing.
Heathrow chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye said 2018 will be a year for the record books, adding: “We’re proud to be the front door of a nation flying high, and we’ll continue delivering a great passenger service and the global trading links that will keep the UK thriving for decades to come.”