Sydney Airport profits soar on the back of a boom in Chinese tourists

Tourists at Bondi Beach. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sydney Airport plans bigger dividends with its full year profit jumping 378.8% to $283 million as tourists from China and the rest of the world flowed through the main gateway to Australia.

Total revenue for the 12 months to December was up 5.6% to $1.229 billion as the number of passengers hit 39.7 million, representing an overall rise of 3% with international passengers 4.3% higher at 13.7 million.

The number of Chinese nationals grew 17.8% and have become the second largest market by residency, only behind Australians.

Chinese tourists are now the world’s top spenders when in comes to travelling. In Australia, more than 1 million Chinese tourists arrived last year, each spending more than $7000 each, about twice that of any other tourist.

“Australia has a strong tourism market and Sydney is an increasingly popular tourist, business, education and visiting friends and relatives destination, positioning Sydney Airport well for ongoing seat capacity and passenger growth,” the Airport says.

CEO Kerrie Mather says the strong result is due to the continued growth of international passengers and investment driving yield expansion across all businesses

And Sydney Airport is well on track for earnings and cash flow growth well above passenger growth.

“We’re in excellent financial shape, with a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility to support the ongoing delivery of business expansion and ultimately cash flow growth,” says Mather.

The 2015 distribution is 25.5 cents per stapled security. The airport says its guidance for 30 cents for 2016 represents growth of 17.6%.

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