Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (the Group) saw good growth for first half of 2017 (1H17) for both earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and group passenger traffic with an increase of 10.6% and 9.5% respectively. The Group registered a 10.6% increase in EBITDA when compared with the first half of 2016 (1H16).
The 1H17EBITDA of RM962.3 million represented 53.6% of the Group’s annual EBITDA target for the financial year ending 31 December 2017.
The Group’s revenue for 1H17 increased by 8.8% to RM2,193.6 million when compared against1H16, largely due to stronger passenger traffic in Malaysia. The Group’s profit before tax (PBT) grew by 245.0% to RM192.2 million while net earnings increased by 416.2% to RM129.5 million over the same period.
With the combined operating performance of Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA), the Group’s network of airports handled 61.7 million passengers in 1H17, representing a 9.5% growth over 1H16.
Passenger traffic for Malaysia operations grew by 12.2% to 47.3 million passengers in 1H17. KLIA recorded a 14.5% growth in passenger traffic for the same period while other airports in Malaysia recorded an aggregate growth of 8.8%. The average load factor for 1H17 increased by 3.2 percentage points to 76.3% when compared with 1H16.
The Group’s Malaysia operations posted revenue of RM1,666.9 million in 1H17, up by 11.2% over 1H16. Revenue from both aeronautical and non-aeronautical segments grew by 7.6% and 13.8% respectively.
The improvement in aeronautical revenue is mainly attributable to the 15.1% rise in overall international passenger traffic. Retail and rental revenue continues to achieve a double-digit growth of 15.9% and 11.5% to RM412.9 million and RM364.8 million respectively. Owing to the stronger revenue contributions, EBITDA for Malaysia operations rose by 17.2% to RM615.6 million.
Istanbul SGIA recorded 14.4 million passengers in 1H17, an improvement of 1.8% over 1H16. Revenue from Turkey operations for the same period rose by 0.1% to RM459.6 million while EBITDA for the period amounted to RM339.8 million or 0.7% lower than 1H16. Revenue from the Group’s project and repair maintenance operations in Doha, Qatar, increased by 13.3% to RM67.1 million in 1H17.
The improvement in passenger growth for Malaysia is driven by a new level of growth contributed by visa relaxation measures for China and India, new additions in the local travelling population, increase in Umrah travel, competitive fares as well as favourable exchange rate for foreign tourists.
In addition, the increase in demand was adequately supported by increase in airlines’ seat capacity. Seat capacity supply estimates for the second half of 2017 indicate a 6% growth over the second half of 2016, setting the tone for a solid year for passenger growth.
While geopolitical concerns remain over in the Middle-East region, the resilient passenger traffic numbers for Istanbul SGIA is expected to further improve over the summer months.
Malaysia Airports also remains vested in the growth of its carrier partners and will continue its efforts to strengthen KLIA’s position as a regional hub. The main carriers are experiencing significant network expansion with Malaysia Airlines progressively expanding their route network by launching new services to Nanjing, Wuhan and Fuzhou.
The AirAsia Group has also recently introduced several new services with AirAsia X achieving a significant milestone by introducing their first Malaysia - US service from Kuala Lumpur to Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka.
The better than expected growth experienced in the last six months was also contributed by the arrivals of new and returning airlines operating in KLIA. This included the return of Philippine Airlines, as well as new airlines such as Cathay Dragon, Batik Air and Thai Smile.
Malaysia Airports has also collaborated with several state tourism bodies under its Joyful Malaysia initiative where Malaysian local culture, cuisine and destinations are promoted. Other airports are also directly benefitting from the above collaborations with Kota Kinabalu International Airport achieving a respectable 15.3% passenger growth in 1H17.