MAG continues to grow but warns of impact of Brexit uncertainty

posted on 4th July 2019 by Justin Burns
MAG continues to grow but warns of impact of Brexit uncertainty

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has reported that passenger numbers, revenue and earnings all increased in the last financial year from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 but warned of the impact of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Passenger numbers across Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport (pictured above) and East Midlands Airport rose by 4.9 per cent during the period to 61.8 million.

Revenue across the three airports was £889.4 million, up 8.7 per cent on the £818.1 million in the previous 12 months.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to £379.9 million, a rise of 5.9 per cent in the previous 12 months.

MAG said continuing Brexit-related uncertainty is creating a “more challenging” outlook for the group in terms of economic growth and passenger demand.

Manchester Airport served 28.6 million passengers in the period and added new new long-haul routes, including a direct Virgin Atlantic route to Los Angeles, and an Ethiopian Airlines route to Addis Ababa.

London Stansted Airport saw passenger numbers rise to 28.4 million and has added a direct link to St Petersburg with Pobeda Airlines, along with a new route to Vienna with Laudamotion.

East Midlands Airport, the busiest UK gateway for freighter traffic saw air cargo tonnage increase to 366,815 tonnes, with passenger numbers flat at 4.9 million.

MAG-USA continues to expand, with eight lounges currently in operation across the country. 2019 will also a number of further lounge openings at US airports, together with MAG introducing innovative technology to help US airports operate their car parks and online booking services.

MAG chief executive officer, Charlie Cornish, said: MAG continues to play a vital role in connecting different parts of the country to key global markets. The investments we are making in our facilities will allow them to play an even bigger role in the years to come.

“We are matching that capital investment with a focus on the experience that every one of our passengers has as they travel through our terminals, something we are looking to make as smooth as possible.

“By improving international connectivity to different regions, MAG airports will do far more to secure economic growth and rebalancing across the UK than a third runway at Heathrow will. The Government must now show an active commitment to supporting the future growth of airports like Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands.

“To achieve this, the Government must support the delivery of better transport links to airports across the country as part of an integrated plan to grow global connections from the North, Midlands and the South.

We welcome the Government and EU’s commitment to maintaining vital air connectivity between the UK and Europe even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, something which allows passengers to book and travel with confidence.

“But continued uncertainty about Brexit will ultimately act as a drag on the economy and damage consumer confidence. It is vital that the Government finds a political solution to Brexit over the coming months to enable the country to move forward and to rebuild consumer confidence.”

Over the last year, MAG has invested £591 million across the three airports, a 73 per cent increase compared to the previous year. Major investment programmes are being carried out across all three of its airports to meet rising demand and upgrade facilities.