UK. London Heathrow Airport today reported results for the nine months ended 30 September, with retail revenue climbing by +5.7% year-on-year to £520 million. Retail includes duty free, speciality shops, food & beverage, car parking and other services.

Retail concession income grew by +5.4% to £235 million, with revenue from F&B up by +7.1% to £45 million. The key figure of retail revenue per passenger rose +3.1% to £8.59 in the period.

Reaching for the sky: Retail growth outstripped traffic increases in the first nine months.

In its nine-month analysis the company noted: “Retail revenue remains strong, led by retail concessions and catering, reflecting the strong traffic performance and longer dwell in the departure lounge due to our call to gate initiative.

“Retail concessions were boosted by the roll-out of new digital capability on Heathrow boutique, allowing customers to reserve and collect their shopping. Catering benefited from refurbishments in Terminals 3 and 5, in addition to ‘Grab & Go’ offerings for passengers to take food on flights. Other retail reflects an increase in advertising income from an enhanced utilisation of spaces.”

The breakdown of retail performance by category in the first nine months (click to enlarge)

During the first nine months Heathrow handled a record 60.5 million passengers, an increase of +2.5% on the corresponding period in 2017. Heathrow noted that it has achieved 23 consecutive months of record passenger numbers. Latin America (+4.6%) and Africa (+4.4%) led the growth rates though off relatively small bases. Of the major regions with connectivity to Heathrow, North America (+3.7%) delivered the sharpest growth by region, with Asia Pacific at +2.6% and Europe at +2.2%.

Total group revenue increased by +2.3% to £2,211 million in the nine months. Adjusted EBITDA grew by +1.9% to £1,372 million. Operating profit before certain re-measurements dipped by -2.2% to £829 million.

The wider financial picture in the nine-month period (above) and traffic performance (click to enlarge).