UK. Gatwick Airport has posted a +3.9% year-on-year rise in net retail income for the six months to the end of September to £112.1 million (US$144.8 million).

The performance was driven by double-digit growth in catering income, up +11% to £26.3 million (US$33.9 million), exceeding passenger growth and increasing income per passenger by +10.6%. This was aided by increased space in the South Terminal and the additions of Itsu and Joe & the Juice.

However, duty and tax free income rose just +1.5%. Net income per passenger increased by +3.3% to £4.13.

The net retail income growth outstripped passenger growth for the six-month period, with 26.6 million passengers passing through the airport (flat at +0.2% year-on-year).

26.6 million passengers passed through the airport in the six-month period

Work is also continuing in the North Terminal on a large extension to the mezzanine level to accommodate new commercial outlets, the airport said. These works will conclude later this year with the opening of three new catering units and two new retail units.

Group revenue was up +5.6% to £541.3 million (US$698.4 million), resulting in EBITDA increasing +7.9% to £350.6 million (US$452.3 million) and a profit after tax of £137 million (US$176.8 million).

The airport reported that one in five passengers is now travelling to a long-haul destination, with new routes to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Miami, San Francisco, Kuwait City and Mexico launching this year.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “As the UK enters an important new chapter on the global stage, new links created to key markets such as South America will play a crucial role in the country’s economy and national identity.

“While we were saddened by the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, we are confident in our future prospects and look forward to easyJet and other airlines using these slots going forward.

“A growing Gatwick means a thriving region and as the airport continues to be transformed under its new ownership – from new global connections to improved transport links, new jobs and business opportunities – the ripple effect will be felt across all corners of our region.”

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