Heathrow reported higher revenues and profits today after a record 70 million passengers used Britain’s biggest airport during 2012.

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The company, whose customer satisfaction levels were also at an all-time high, posted an 8% rise in revenues to £2.46billion, while it returned to the black at an underlying level with profits of £46.4million.

However the airport is operating at close to capacity and the company warned this would limit the UK’s ability to trade with emerging economies. There were 471,341 flights during 2012, just below Heathrow’s cap of 480,000 a year.

Today’s results from the former BAA company include Stansted Airport, which was sold after the year-end to Manchester Airports Group for £1.5bn. Stansted’s passenger numbers declined 3.2% to 17.5 million last year.

The company predicted more strong growth in Heathrow’s turnover this year and said construction of the new Terminal 2 should be completed towards the end of 2013, with operations commencing in mid-2014.

The project accounted for a large slice of the £1.1bn invested in the airport during 2012, an increase of more than 30% on a year earlier.

Heathrow achieved an all-time record passenger satisfaction score in a survey produced by the Airports Council International for the third quarter, but the percentage of people passing through central security within the prescribed time was below last year’s level at 92.8% in 2012.

Meanwhile, Heathrow’s retail income increased 4.4% to £6.21 per passenger, while the figure was 2.8% higher at £4.27 for Stansted.

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