MAHB 1Q net profit up 3-fold to RM190mil

File pic — ART CHEN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) expects passenger traffic to further recover in 2024 closer to pre-pandemic levels, with International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) predicting global passengers to grow above 2019 levels by 9% and 6% respectively.

“Both bodies also predict Asia Pacific passenger numbers to recover beyond pre-pandemic levels by 2024, where IATA forecasts a 10% growth over 2019 while ACI expects a 3% growth.

“On the local front, the relaxation of visa requirements has helped to stimulate passenger arrivals and MAHB continue to work closely with the Government to further facilitate passenger arrivals, including expanding the use of e-Gate to China and India passengers,” MAHB said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

In line with the positive traffic outlook and growing demand for air travel, MAHB has put in significant investments to replace ageing assets and modernise the airports it operates.

“The recently signed operating agreements (new OAs) with the Government, which extend MAHB’s operating tenure to 2069, also provide a clear investment recovery framework for MAHB to pursue viable airport developments that will be both beneficial to the passengers and the country, as well as provide valuable earning accretion opportunities to the group,” the airport operator said.

In the first quarter ended March 31, MAHB’s net profit surged to RM190mil compared with RM58.2mil in the same period last year, translating into higher earnings per share of 10.53 sen against 2.65 sen a year ago.

The higher net profit was due to higher revenue and other income, coupled with an improved share of profits contributions from associate and joint venture companies.

Revenue jumped 30.6% to RM1.35bil from RM1.03bil achieved last year, driven by higher passenger volumes resulting from the new airlines operations, school holiday break, Chinese New Year festive season and the implementation of 30-day visa-free waiver for China and India travellers to Malaysia.

Overall, MAHB said Malaysia and Türkiye operations had recorded an increase in revenue by 35.0% from RM632.2mil to RM853.2mil and 25.0% from RM377.4mil to RM471.8mil, respectively.

MAHB noted that its performance may nevertheless be affected by the availability of aircraft and macroeconomic factors such as global inflation and potential increase in fuel prices as well as geopolitical risks.

“The group remains steadfast in optimising its costs, with its core cost per passenger expected to further improve in tandem with passenger growth. The group also closely monitors the prevailing conflict in West Asia and the possible impact on its operations and costs as airlines reroute flights to avoid specific airspace,” it said.

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