SYDNEY AIRPORT UPBEAT ABOUT GROWTH AS PROFIT RISES

SYDNEY AIRPORT UPBEAT ABOUT GROWTH AS PROFIT RISES

SYDNEY Airport (ASX: SYD) has posted an 18.9 per cent jump in half year profits, and a recent price hike is fuelling optimism in its growth prospects.

The company expects its full year distribution to increase by 22 per cent on the first half of 2015, benefitting from a rise in aeronautical services charges.

Sydney Airport checked in more than 20.3 million passengers in the first half of 2016, up 6.7 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

International visitation was up 9.3 per cent, driven by the weaker Australian Dollar, and domestic was up 5.3 per cent. Revenue rose 11.3 per cent to $661.9 million during this half year period, with the company taking a net profit after tax of $152.7 million. 

CEO Kerrie Mather says the group is 'making excellent progress' in delivering its key strategic, operational and financial targets.

"We have delivered a significant uplift in the presentation of the terminal, increased capacity and passenger experience improvements from our investment program," says Mather.

"International passenger growth, up 9.3 per cent for the half year, continues to be a key business driver. Underpinning our international passenger result was significant additional capacity from new and existing carriers, improving load factors and strong demand from a diverse range of markets including Australia, China, USA, Korea and Japan."

Australia's biggest airport currently has more than 200 business expansion projects underway. The company reported capital expenditure of $175 million for the half year, in line with its expected investment of $400 million in 2016.

Sydney Airport opened on the ASX at $7.50, before dropping to $7.21 and now edging higher to $7.40. 

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