UK. London Heathrow Airport today reported retail revenue of £328 million for the first six months of 2018, a rise of +4.8% year-on-year. The key figure of retail revenue per passenger rose by +2.2% to £8.62 in the period. Group revenue climbed by +2.3% to £1.4 billion, with pre-tax profit down by -6.9% to £95 million.

Retail revenue growth reflected traffic growth of +2.5% as well as longer dwell times, which the airport company said was partly due to a later ‘call to gate’ initiative. Retail concessions were boosted by a higher transaction value per spending passenger. F&B benefited from the redevelopment of Terminal 5 outlets. Other retail gains reflected an upside in advertising income from a better use of space, the company added.

How the retail performance broke down from January to June 2018 (click to enlarge)

Passenger traffic (+2.5%) hit 38.1 million in the period. Intercontinental traffic was also up +2.5% while short-haul including domestic traffic volumes were up +2.6%. Long-haul traffic was boosted on routes to North America and Asia including additional flights to Boston, Mumbai and Istanbul. East Asian traffic benefited from new services to Hainan and Tianjin in China. European traffic recorded further growth in load factors, especially on routes to Istanbul, Rome, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Domestic traffic was boosted by additional Flybe services to Scotland.

Revenue and passenger growth: The half-year financial performance in detail (click to enlarge)

Heathrow said it continues to invest in infrastructure expansion. The Terminal 3 Flight Connections Centre began trials in May signalling the final phase of a three-year project to reduce passenger walking times, give access to more facilities and improve the connecting journey. Spread over three floors, it will also include a brand new retail space. Other projects will also contribute to driving incremental commercial revenue, including hotel developments such as the Aerotel in Terminal 3 and the Regus Express business lounge.

The H1 traffic performance in detail (click to enlarge)