HK Airport Authority Posts Higher Profits despite Difficult Year

The Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA) announced Wednesday it has posted a profit of 236 million HK dollars (30.1 million US dollars) for 2001-2002, compared with a profit of 71 million HK dollars (9.1 million US dollars) in the previous year.

It said the higher profit level was achieved through a moderateincrease in revenue combined with lower interest costs and a reduction in recurrent operating expenses through productivity gains and improved processes.

Total turnover grew by 2.2 percent to 5,274 million HK dollars (676.2 million US dollars) as against 5,159 million HK dollars (661.4 million US dollars) for 2000-2001.

Total operating expenses for the year were 4,615 million HK dollars (591.7 million US dollars), including 1,843 million HK dollars (236.3 million US dollars) depreciation, while operating expenses before depreciation of 2,772 million HK dollars (355.4 million US dollars) were lower than last year.

The declining interest rate during the year had also helped cutthe AA's interest and finance charges by 17 percent or 84 million HK dollars (10.8 million US dollars).

Although partly offset by continued economic growth of China ingeneral and the Pearl River Delta in particular, the sluggish world economy and effects of the September 11 incidents dampened both passenger and air cargo throughput.

Passenger numbers were down 2.2 percent to 33.1 million while cargo dropped 4.9 percent to 2.2 million tons.

However, the 197,725 air traffic movements during the year were6.1 percent more than the previous year.

"We are quite pleased with these results, especially considering the challenging economic conditions of the past year,"Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Pang said.

"Despite the decline in both cargo and passenger volumes, our financial results were more than satisfactory. During the year, westayed focused on our core values: safety, security, quality and efficiency," he said.

"The AA's overall mission is to attract and develop in a sustainable fashion the flow of value-adding activities to Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta and southern China," he said.

The CEO noted that his company's greatest opportunity and challenge is to quickly integrate the China market and its airports, especially those in the Pearl River Delta, into the future supply and demand of its flow management system.

( Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2002 )