New Zealand sacrificial lamb steaks
The chief executive of Infratil has not ruled out selling stakes in Manston airport if a buyer can be found, according to a business website. Marko Bogoievski is quoted on www.stuff.co.nz in an article prompted by the New Zealand based company posting big business losses.
The website reports that analysts said Infratil’s European airports, including Kent International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick, and energy developments were the most likely assets to go on the block.
Infratil Airports Europe posted an $18.9m loss compared with $1.2m of earnings the previous year. it claimed, adding that Infratil’s investments as a whole returned $356.3m compared with $315.9m the year before. Earnings were up at its three major investments, TrustPower, Infratil Energy Australia and Wellington Airport.
Mr Bogoievski is quoted as saying he did not rule out selling stakes in Manston and Glasgow Prestwick if buyers could be found adding: “In the meantime you do what you can control and that’s the operating cost structures of those businesses.”
Apart from the consistent mis-spelling of ‘steak’, the thrust of the message has a sad inevitability about it. Infratil over-reached themselves, expanding into foreign markets they didn’t fully understand, which lead to them making poor buying choices. Manston is in the wrong place, and failed to make money for Infratil even in the recent air transport boom years.
Manston has gone from white elephant to lame duck to dead in the water, and Infratil are smiling hard and pointedly not holding their nose as they try to sell it, any of it, to anyone.