MAG reports strong half-year

Manchester Airports Group produced pre-tax profit of £182.9m on turnover of £421.4m in the six months to the end of September.

The group will pay a £31m dividend to shareholders, further to a £46m dividend paid in July 2014 for the full year ended 31 March 2014. The group is owned by Manchester City Council (35.5% stake); IFM Investors (35.5%) and the nine Greater Manchester Councils of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan (29%).

The interim pre-tax profit was a rise of 8.7% on the same period in 2013. Revenue was also up 8%.

MAG serves 46 million passengers a year through its ownership and operation of Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.

Passenger numbers continue to increase ahead of the market, rising by 8.5% to 28.1 million for the period and up 6.7% to 46 million for the 12 months to 30 September 2014. At Manchester Airport, numbers are expected to hit a pre-recession peak of 22 million this financial year and Stansted has recently become the fastest growing major airport in the London system.

Neil Thompson, chief financial officer of MAG, said: "MAG has delivered a strong financial performance in the first six months of the year, meeting or exceeding its financial targets and continuing the growth rate delivered over the past few years.

"A busy summer period saw more passengers than ever before using our four airports and taking advantage of the largest number of destinations that we have ever been able to offer. Our focus on long term commercial agreements has made this possible and we continue to focus on further diversifying our route offering, particularly with regards long haul.

"I am especially pleased with the performance of Manchester which is reaching its record annual passenger level and Stansted which is now showing industry leading levels of passenger growth."

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