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Airports write-down lead to Infratil profits plunge

The plunging value of for-sale
Prestwick airport contributed to a nose dive in its New Zealand owners’
profits, Infratil reported today.

The firm said the Ayrshire airport and its sister at Manston in Kent were now together worth £11.4 million compared to £38 million a year ago. They had been valued at £44m in 2011.

Infratil said the write-down had been the biggest element of its net profits falling from £28m to £1.8m in the year to March. The company admitted it was struggling to offload the airports. Its results statement said:

“The state of European markets has made the sale of the airports unpredictable and difficult. The two UK airports have not yet been sold and have been written down further. The
decrease in value of Infratil Airports Europe [Prestwick and Manston] reflects a negative revaluation of airport assets during the year.”

Prestwick, which has been on sale since March last year, suffered the loss of Wizz Air’s two routes to Glasgow this year.

However,
Ryanair – the airport’s sole remaining passenger airline – has
increased its flights from there, and chief executive Michael O’Leary
has said the firm had an “unbreakable commitment” to Prestwick.

Scotsman.com 15th May 2013

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