Ghana Airports Company declares GH¢15.2m net profit at first AGM

The Kotoka International Airport

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has held its maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) since its inception five years ago and declared a net profit of GH¢15,296,888 at the end of 2010, its third year of operation.

The amount contained in an independently audited financial statement presented to the Government, sole shareholder of GACL, is a 156 per cent increase over 2009 levels, which stood at GH¢5,967,384.

Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of GACL, said the increase in profits for the period was a result of improved revenue and effective cost management practices.

She said the company’s operating income grew by 30 per cent from GH¢40 million in 2009 to GH¢52 million in 2010, while airside revenue grew by 23 per cent from GH¢7.7 million in 2009 to GH¢9.5 million in 2010.

This was driven by the growth in frequency of airlines that fly into Ghana and new ones such as Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and Brussels Airlines.

Revenue from airport passenger service charge (APSC) increased from GH¢19 million in 2009 to GH¢27 million in the year under review, a 38 per cent increase, due to growth in passenger numbers and non-aeronautical revenue, including rental income, car park revenue, royalties and other revenue also grew 20 per cent from GH¢13.2 million in 2009 to GH¢15.9 million in 2010.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko said GACL would continue to focus on non-aeronautical revenue since it had been noted that its growth was key for a sustained development in airport management and asset utilization.

There was an improvement in its current assets position vis-à-vis current liabilities to GH¢2.9 million from GH¢10.2 million in 2009.

She said although there had been significant increases in aircraft and passenger movements in the year under review with international flights growing from 17,301 in 2009 to 21,072 in 2010, domestic flight: 6,742 to 9,036, international passengers: 1.2 million  to 1.38 million and domestic passengers: 122,059 to 132,480 in 2010, movement of freight recorded only a marginal increase of 0.6 per cent from 45,693 to 45,960 in 2010.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko explained that freight volumes had been declining since 2007 due to competition from sea freight adding that the trend seemed to be reversing given the growth in economy and increase in trade in the West African sub-region.

She outlined projects that had been undertaken at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) including the SITA project, water development and storage system at the landside, re-roofing of terminal building, which was yet to be completed, construction of additional boarding gates and acquisition of 2300 trolleys and 10 potter trolleys.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko said GACL faced some challenges from unresolved post decoupling issues relating to assets sharing and title transfers, a major one being the acquisition of titles to airport lands which the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) did not have.

This, she said, was “fueling uncontrolled encroachment on airport lands, thus affecting safety of operations and potential for future expansion”.

In an interview with the GNA, Mrs Owusu-Fianko said the Lands Commission had written to the management to confirm that it had the title for the lands and was working on the title document, adding GACL expected to receive the document in due course.

Another challenge, she said, was low capitalisation as the stated capital of GH¢1.0 million, when the company was established was yet to be paid to them by the shareholder and that this had impacted the company’s ability to raise financing and renew its ageing infrastructure.

She called on government through the Ministry Of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) to pay the money to the company.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko appealed to MoFEP to give the GACL exemption them from paying tax on aeronautical revenue and equipment which it currently paid unlike the GCAA and provided a legal backing to execute its mandate.

This, she said, was necessary as the company had strategic role to play in ensuring safety and security at all airports and airstrips in Ghana.

Madam Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport, said the Ministry would expedite action on the bill to give the GACL the legal backing it required to fully execute its mandate.

She assured management of the company that the Ministry would prevail on MoFEP to pay the GH¢1 million and increase the percentage of APSC that went to the company for development.

Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, Director of Public Investment, MoFEP, said the Ministry was working to acquire funding of about $500 million for GACL to develop the KIA as well as the regional airports.

The meeting moved and adopted motions to re-appoint the auditors; Baah and Associates Chartered Accountants, for the ensuing year and authorised the Directors to fix their remuneration.

Mrs Apenteng who seconded the motions, advised them to ensure that the increase in the remuneration was not as much as the increase in 2010 from 2009, which went up from GH¢41,400 in 2009 to GH¢51,750 in 2010.

Mr George Kuntu Blankson, Chairman of Board of Directors of GACL, said the commencement of crude oil production in Ghana in commercial quantities was expected to change the economic environment as well as air travel, adding that GACL needed to position itself to ensure that airport infrastructure was adequate to facilitate air transport movements.

He expressed confidence that commitment from government, directors, management and staff of the company would help them realise their vision and build a successful business that would reward all its stakeholders.

Source: GNA

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