Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Sangster airport generates US$52m revenue in six months

Published:Wednesday | August 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson/Senior Business Reporter
Sangster International Airport

Total revenues at Jamaica's largest airport, Sangster International, increased six per cent to US$52 million over six months to June, based on an analysis of disclosures by controlling partner Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP). The intake translates to $7 billion in Jamaican currency at current exchange rates.

The airport based in Montego Bay made roughly US$10 million in operating profit during the six months, based on calculations of its disclosed operating costs.

Fuelling the rise in revenues was the increase in total passenger movements to 2.32 million, up from 2.16 million a year earlier.

Aeronautical revenues contributed US$38.3 million while increased patronage at shops within the airport accounted for US$13.7 million.

"Aeronautical revenues increased by 49 million pesos, or 7.1 per cent, due to a 7.3 per cent increase in passenger traffic and the adjustment in passenger fees as a result of inflation," said GAP in its half-year financial report.

Non-aeronautical revenues increased by 13.6 million pesos, or 5.4 per cent, "mainly due to an increase of 7.7 per cent in the Montego Bay airport revenues denominated in US dollars". The monthly average exchange rate applied to GAP's consolidated financial results was 19.37 pesos per US dollar.

Operating costs at the Montego Bay airport at US$42 million increased by 30 per cent year on year or by US$9.7 million. Queries to MBJ Airports Limited about the financial results were unanswered up to press time.

Sangster International is operated under concession by MBJ Airports, in which GAP holds a controlling 74.5 per cent stake. The remaining 25.5 per cent of MBJ is held by Vantage of Canada. In April 2003, the Airports Authority of Jamaica divested the operational responsibility for Sangster International Airport, but not ownership, to MBJ Airports under a 30-year concession agreement.

GAP also operates 12 airports throughout Mexico's Pacific region. It's going after a second Jamaican asset as one of about eight candidates seeking the concession for Norman Manley International Airport a privatisation process led by the Development Bank of Jamaica.

The Mexican company said it presented its technical and financial bid for the NMIA concession on July 20.

"The Jamaican Government is expected to announce the bidder selection at the end of the month of September 2018. In the event that GAP is granted the concession, the Company has a 12-month period to prepare the information and documentation necessary to initiate the operation; therefore, the concession is expected to actually begin in October 2019," GAP said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com