‘Strong growth prospects’ seen as Leeds Bradford airport is taken over

‘Strong growth prospects’ seen as Leeds Bradford airport is taken over

The Australian asset management firm which owns Newcastle airport is taking over Leeds Bradford airport for an undisclosed sum.

AMP Capital is buying the Yorkshire airport from private equity company Bridgepoint, which acquired the hub from local councils for £145.5 million in 2007.

Besides Newcastle airport, AMP owns several others around the world.

AMP described Leeds Bradford airport is a “compelling investment” due to its location and strong growth prospects.

The airport turned over £32 million in the year to March 31, 2017, up from £29.5m the year before.

It recorded a pre-tax loss of £6.9 million, up from a loss of £5.4 million, after paying £5.7m interest on its £89m debt burden.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation [ebitda] were £8 million.

A mix of low-cost, charter and international airlines operate at the airport, which has a catchment area of 5.3 million people, with 2.9 million living less than one hour from away. It is home to Jet2 and is served by a range of other airlines including Ryanair and British Airways.

Leeds and Bradford are the third and seventh largest cities in the UK, respectively, and the Leeds city region is home to the UK’s largest financial and business services centre outside London.

The airport primarily offers international short-haul flights as well as an established network of domestic destinations.

Simon Ellis, head of origination, Europe at AMP Capital, said: “With its strong underlying fundamentals including freehold ownership with well-invested infrastructure, a diversified airline mix and its catchment area in an economic hub of the north of England, Leeds Bradford airport is a highly attractive investment and a great fit for AMP Capital’s global infrastructure platform.

“We believe there is a clear opportunity for performance enhancement through tailoring and improving the customer experience and working collaboratively with our key partners including airlines, government and local businesses.

“In addition, the airport serves the Yorkshire and the Humber region, one of the fastest-growing regions in the UK with a population growth of 6% since 2001 and there is also potential for further route development.

“AMP Capital’s heritage in transportation infrastructure investment and our experience of owning airports means we are well placed to develop the exciting opportunities presented by this investment.”

Bridgepoint partner Michael Davy, said: “Over the past five years of Bridgepoint ownership, passenger numbers have grown by almost 40% to over four million, £30 million has been invested in projects including a terminal upgrade, employee numbers have grown from 200 to around 460, and ebitda has grown by over 25% per annum.”

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