Profits take off at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick AirportA busy holiday airport has announced increased half-yearly profits.

Bosses of Gatwick said the West Sussex airport's pre-tax profits for the period April-September had reached £172 million. This was an increase of 4.8% on the same period last year.
Turnover for the first six months of the 2012/13 financial year was £325.8 million - a 3.6% rise on the April-September 2011 figure.

Passenger numbers for April-September this year were 19.9 million - a 1.2% increase on the same period last year.

Gatwick's chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "These strong half-year results come at the same time as Gatwick enters its fourth year under new ownership. In that time we have focused on growth and delivering greater passenger choice, convenience, better customer service and, crucially, more connections for both business and leisure travellers.

"Three years of competition has seen Gatwick grow its European short-haul business, while also opening up new routes to key markets in Russia, China, Vietnam and Korea. We have seen passenger growth throughout this period and our quality standards are today unparalleled."

He went on: "This proves passengers are best served by allowing airports to compete. It is why we recently announced our plans to explore second runway options as we believe growth at Gatwick is the best option for increasing connectivity for the next generation.

"Over the next three years we will continue to transform the airport, maximising the opportunities in the short-haul market while stepping up our efforts to attract airlines that serve markets of strategic importance to the UK."
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