2005 TAKES OFF POSITIVELY FOR THE OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY
25 May 2005 :00am
For the first three months of 2005, earnings before amortization of $2.2 million were approximately 22% higher than those of 2004, and ahead of plan. Amortization increased from $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2004 to $3.3 million in the same period of 2005. This increase is the result of depreciating a higher asset base. After subtracting amortization, the excess of expenses over revenues is $1.1 million for the quarter as compared to $1.3 million for the same quarter of 2004.
Passenger volumes continued to surpass record high volumes. Overall, the first quarter brought an 8.4% increase over 2004, for a total of 956,585 passengers. Travel increased in all sectors as follows: domestic grew by 8.6%, transborder by 8.7% and international by 6.6%.
The Airport Authority is very pleased with the results, according to President and CEO, Paul Benoit. “As announced last week, we’re moving forward with Phase II of our Airport Expansion Program, and results such as these confirm that we’re on the right track”.
The Authority generated $18.2 million in revenues in Q1 for 2005 as compared to $17.2 million in the same quarter of 2004.
Airport improvement fees of $5.8 million in the quarter were 9.4% higher than those of Q1 2004, which is in keeping with the increase in passenger volumes.
Aeronautical revenues of $6.4 million, including terminal fees, loading bridge charges and landing fees charged to carriers saw a slight increase over the same revenues in 2004.
Total expenses before amortization increased from $15.4 million in Q1 2004 to $16.0 million in 2005. Of this increase, half or $300,000 is due to higher ground rent, which increased in the quarter by 11% to $3.2 million.
In accordance with the Authority’s mandate, all earnings are retained and reinvested in airport operations and development, including investment in capital expenditures to meet ongoing operating requirements. During the first quarter of 2005, the Authority made cash payments of $0.8 million for capital expenditures related to future expansion and the release of holdbacks related to Phase I of the Airport Expansion Program (AEP).
Cash and short-term investments of $15.1 million as at March 31, 2005 include short-term investments permitted by the Master Trust Indenture. The Authority maintains access to an aggregate of $120 million in 364-day revolving credit facilities with two Canadian banks which were signed in October 2001. There were no drawings on these credit facilities during the quarter.
OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The OMCIAA’s mandate is to manage, operate and develop airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. Its new state-of-the-art passenger terminal building opened for business on October 12, 2003.