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Norwich Airport owner posts record results as passenger numbers top 520,000

PUBLISHED: 11:04 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 26 September 2017

Generic views of Norwich Airport. The café area. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Generic views of Norwich Airport. The café area. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

The owner of Norwich Airport has reported record revenues as passenger numbers rose above the half-million mark.

Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The owner of Norwich Airport has reported record revenues as passenger numbers rose above the half-million mark.

The Rigby Group recorded revenue of £2.17bn in the year to the end of March this year, up 21.2% across its six divisions and the best in its 42-year history.

One of those divisions, Regional & City Airports, owns Norwich Airport where passenger numbers increased by 9% to go from 477,000 to 521,000. The airport also saw an increase in helicopter passengers in the oil and gas industry using the airport, from 110,000 to 112,000.

Revenue for the airports division, one of the group’s smaller arms, which includes Coventry and Exeter airports, rose to £35.9m, up 1.4m while its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) edged up £0.1m to £5.7m.

Generic views of Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Generic views of Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steven Rigby, group chief operating officer, welcomed the improved passenger numbers in Norwich. He said: “This growth was driven by the introduction of Flybe’s international scheduled routes to popular destinations Alicante and Malaga, and the new domestic connection to Exeter.

“New holiday routes to Rhodes and Cyprus for summer 2017 were secured in the year, further increasing the number of direct destinations available from the airport.

“The importance of the airport as a hub for oil and gas connectivity continued as offshore helicopter passenger numbers increased by 2% to 112,000 in the year, from 110,000 in the prior year. Norwich Airport’s performance contributed to the best-ever year for our Regional & City Airports division, which handled 1.7 million passengers in total.”

Norwich Airport unveiled in June its draft 30-year masterplan in which it laid out plans to drive up passenger numbers to 1.4 million by 2045, extend the runway and offer a greater choice of routes by forging links with European hub airports.

But the plans have sparked concerns from the airport’s neighbours worried about increased noise and disruption from more flights, as well as the impact on local house prices.

Overall, the Rigby Group reported EBITDA before exceptional items of £57m, up 5.8% year-on-year, while group pre-tax profits on continuing operations before exceptional items was £27.9m, up 22%.

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