Sydney Airport’s $8-billion-plus debt has added to reduced revenue from airline traffic to drive the corporation to a loss of $146.9 million for the calendar year 2008.
Sydney Airport reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $460.692 million for the year, $47.9 million up on 2008. But its income was well below its interest expenses for last year, more than $195 million short of the $655.8 million in financing costs.
The airport also revealed it had net liabilities of $1.28 billion on its balance sheet. But it said the $3.48 billion increase in its equity value since the airport’s privatisation in 2002 offset this.
It said all its debt covenants had been met and budgeted cash flows for 2009 "show a significant surplus after debt service".
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Sydney Airport’s $8.1 billion of debts are more than six times what they were when the asset was sold by the Howard government to a Macquarie-led Southern Cross Airports consortium in June 2002. When the airport was first privatised in 2002 it had borrowings of $1.2 billion.
Sydney Airport chairman Max Moore-Wilton put a brave face on the results, saying: “An important refinancing was successfully undertaken to secure the capital expenditure requirements to the end of 2012. The refinancing of $870 million in term facilities, maturing towards the end of 2009, is anticipated to be completed in the first half of this year. Following this, Sydney Airport will have no further debt maturities until late 2011.
“The ongoing global financial crisis means that 2009 will have its own distinctive challenges and while Sydney Airport is obviously not immune to global economic factors, it is also the case that it has performed strongly through the course of 2008.”