Sydney Airport delivered its results today, announcing full-year EBITDA growth of 6.1% to $948 million.
Revenue rose 4.3% to $1.164 billion, with passenger growth up 1.7% overall, with international growth more than double the domestic 1.2% rise.
Sydney Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather said 2014’s achievements included refinancing $3.1 billion of debt, growth in all commercial businesses and the $241.5m capital investment program delivered on time and budget. The capital expenditure guidance was updated to $1.2 billion for the next five years, 2015-2019.
Mather announced a 25c a share distribution for the 2015 fin year, as expected, up 1.5c from last year.
“Key drivers of this result were international passenger growth of 2.8% particularly from China, Australia, USA, India and Malaysia, returns on capital investment in aviation infrastructure, commercial business initiatives which drove yield improvement and continued cost control,” she said.
But the market didn’t take kindly to the news, with Sydney Airport’s stapled securities down nearly 3.5% to $5, off the back of previous recent record highs.
The other big, but expected, news was that the airport’s longstanding chairman, Max Moore-Wilton, 72, is stepping down at the AGM in May after nine years.
Moore-Wilton spent eight years as Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under John Howard, where he was nicknamed Max the Axe for shedding thousands of public service jobs. He resigned in 2002 to become CEO of Sydney Airport Corporation, after the federal government sold the 99-year lease to Macquarie Bank, then shifted to chairman in 2006.
Yesterday, he confirmed he’d also step down as chairman of Southern Cross Media Group.
Moore-Wilton has a reputation for offering no-holds-barred opinions. In the wake of the death of a nurse in Britain following a prank phone call on 2DAY-FM, a Southern Cross Media station, the chairman said that while the incident was unfortunate “sh*t happens”, provoking outrage back in London.
He also clashed with the former Labor government and deputy leader Anthony Albanese during his time as minister for infrastructure and transport.
Today Albanese issued a statement on news that Max Moore-Wilton was stepping down. It contained just one word.