Manchester Airports Group revenue up 123% to £1bn

Manchester Airport Group Investments Limited (MAGIL) said its revenue increased 122.8% to £1.027 billion and its adjusted EBITDA rose 228.1% to £410.4 million in the 12 months ended March 31, 2023.

Passenger numbers rose 163.4% to 54 million — about 91% of pre-pandemic levels.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is the owner and operator of Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport and East Midlands Airport, as well as its digital travel services business CAVU.

MAG is owned by a combination of public and private shareholders, including Manchester City Council (35.5%), IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (35.5%) and the nine other Greater Manchester local authorities (29%).

“The removal of all remaining UK travel restrictions in March 2022 triggered a rapid increase in pent up demand for travel and has resulted in MAGIL delivering a strong financial performance for the 12 months to 31 March 2023,” said the airports group.

“MAGIL delivered an operating profit of £28.1 million for the year ended 31 March 2023 (2022: loss of £130.0 million).

“This result was heavily impacted by a one-off adjusted item charge of £119.7 million following the extinguishment of the group’s deferred debt agreement (DDA) for the exit from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) pension scheme.

“The GMPF settlement also gave rise to a £116.7m increase in reserves and therefore an overall net movement of £3.0m.

“The split of the net movement between income statement and reserves is in accordance with the requirements of IAS 19. All of MAG’s defined benefit pension schemes are now closed to future accrual.

“Last year was one of the most significant in the aviation sector’s history, the first full year following the removal of the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling the full resumption of international travel.

“Demand recovered well across all three of MAG’s airports with volumes returning close to pre-pandemic levels, growing from 83.8% of 2020 volumes at the half year, to 90.6% at the financial year end. Total passenger numbers for the financial year reached 54.0 million.

“Demand was particularly strong in the low cost, short-haul segment, with seat capacity and passenger volumes exceeding pre-Covid levels at various times in the last quarter of the financial year.

“This pattern was seen across the industry, however, the rate of recovery across MAG typically outpaced that of other UK airports.

“MAG’s performance reflects the strength of demand within the catchment areas of our airports as well as our close relationships with airlines, based on a mutual desire to provide the best value and choice to the customers we jointly serve.

“The rebound in the short-haul market was coupled with the return of long-haul travel, as international markets opened up and full service airlines advanced their own recoveries. This was reflected in the resumption or addition of long-haul routes from Manchester and London Stansted.

“The whole of the UK aviation sector experienced challenges in meeting the rapid increase in demand following the removal of travel restrictions.

“This caused well documented operational issues in the early part of the financial year that impacted MAG’s airports to varying extents, with Manchester more acutely impacted. MAG’s teams worked hard to improve service levels as the summer progressed, enabling airlines to operate their planned schedules so that passengers’ travel plans were protected throughout.

“Over the last year MAG has recruited more than 1,600 security officers across the group. All three of MAG’s airports are continuing to provide consistently good service levels, and we are committed to sustaining this performance and engaging with partners to optimise passenger experience.”