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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Passenger rise boosts BAA profits
Female traveller at Heathrow
BAA was helped by two Easter holidays during its financial year
UK airport firm BAA has seen annual profits rise by 18.8%, helped by cost cuts and increased passenger numbers.

The UK's biggest airports operator said pre-tax profit before exceptional items was 637m ($1.17bn) for the year to April 2005, compared to 536m in 2004.

BAA chief executive Mike Clasper said the company, whose airports include Heathrow and Gatwick, had "delivered another good set of results".

Annual passenger traffic was up 6.3% at a record 141.7 million people.

'Sustained growth'

As well as Heathrow and Gatwick, the group also operates Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Southampton airports.

BAA said it hopes to see another strong performance in 2005, helped by good results from its retail businesses and property.

Passengers check in at Heathrow

"All these attributes give me confidence that we can sustain growth and translate our forecast rise in London passenger traffic of 3.5% into a robust financial performance for 2005/06," said Mr Clasper.

The company also made a profit of 96m through property disposals, which raised its post-exceptionals profit to 733m for the year.

Building work

The passenger numbers increase was helped by a price war between low-cost airlines in Europe.

BAA also benefited from two Easter holidays falling within its financial year, in April 2004 and March 2005.

The company said work on Terminal Five at Heathrow was ahead of schedule.

Construction work is continuing to accommodate the arrival of the Airbus A380 super-jumbo at the airport in the spring of 2006.

"We will continue to innovate as a means of driving traffic," said Mr Clasper.




SEE ALSO:
BAA sees increase in passengers
10 Dec 04 |  Business
BAA boosted by cheaper airfares
02 Nov 04 |  Business
BAA reports busiest August ever
10 Sep 04 |  Business
Long-haul travel boost for BAA
11 Aug 04 |  Business
Passenger numbers rising at BAA
09 Jul 04 |  Business


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