Airports of Thailand posts -90% slump in net profit as wave of negative factors hits business
Martin Moodie

THAILAND. Airports of Thailand (AoT) today posted a sharp drop in revenue and operating profits for the year ended 30 September 2009.

AOT recorded total operational revenues of THB 21,502.39 million, down -19.59% year-on-year. Operating income reached THB2,959.14 million, a fall of -63.01%.

Net profit after income tax and loss on minority interests fell -90.20% toTHB717.26 million.

AoT blamed the decrease on a combination of negative factors, including the worldwide economic recession, the H1N1 flu virus, and the negative impact of Thailandís domestic unrest on the tourism industry.

Source: Airports of Thailand

Additionally, the airports company said it had provided discounts on fees, rental charges and concession fees at all its airports to both airlines and business operators. These were in line with government measures to promote Thailand's tourism industry during 2009. Foreign exchange losses were also a factor in the financial decline.

They included assisting airlines during the fuel price surge between September and the end of 2008; assistance to all business partners during the ten-day closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport from 26 November 2008 due to civil unrest; and a year-long stimulus package for airlines and other partners during 2009.

AoT reported a 20.34% fall in non-aeronautical revenues to THB9,299.82 million. It attributed this slump to measures to promote Thailandís tourism and to assist airlines and business operators. Those included:

- Reduction on the rental charges and terminal and building service charges by -10% for all tenants for six months from January to June, 2009

- Reduction on the monthly constant concession fee in line with the percentage decline in passenger numbers across each airport throughout 2009

- In the case of revenue-sharing concessions with specified minimum guarantees, only the revenue sharing concession fee has been applied for one year, embracing the whole of 2009. The minimum guarantees have been waived.

Business prospects are looking up, however. As reported, AoT posted a +10.7% year-on-year rise in October for international passengers across its airport network Ė Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang in Bangkok, plus Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Chiang Rai.

A continued revival in tourism, linked to the end of the financial support campaign, should boost profits in 2010.