AUSTRALIA. Sydney Airport’s retail revenue grew by +5.3% year-on-year in 2012, hitting A$235.1 million (US$241 million). The performance was buoyed by international passenger growth (+5.6%) and new tenancies in T2. Retail revenue climbed by +4.2% in the second half, to A$119.8 million (US$123 million).

Crucially, the airport noted the impact of the new reduced inbound duty free allowances on tobacco, effective since September. The airport has made an adjustment of A$3 million for the final four months in response to the allowance change, which has hit tobacco sales hard. Plus it has amended its rental agreement with concessionaire The Nuance Group in response.

Sydney Airport said: “Together with Nuance we have responded to amended tobacco duty free allowances from 1 September. Changes include incentives in the contract for Sydney Airport and Nuance working together to grow the sale of new product lines, allocating previously leased space for Sydney Airport’s use and rental adjustment for the period to February 2015. The 2012 result includes an adjustment of A$3 million for the four months from 1 September.”

Total revenue for the company grew by +6.9%, with EBITDA rising by +7.4% in the year, on passenger growth of +3.6% to 36.9 million.

CEO Kerrie Mather said the company had increased value and choice for consumers in its commercial departments.

She said: “In 2012 we made significant progress in this area, particularly through our car parking and retail businesses. We expanded our food & beverage offer in T2, ensured travel staples such as water and coffee were accessible at a range of price points, implemented a currency exchange matching programme so rates were equivalent to the CBD and continued the provision of free Wi-Fi throughout T1”.

“In September 2012, we launched our new car parking strategy after extensive research into passenger needs around products and choice. The investment leading up to the launch was over A$50 million and included a new 2,300 space car park at the international terminal, 1,000 new long-stay spaces at the rebranded “˜Blu Emu’ car park, new guidance and payment systems within car parks and the implementation of a new online booking system.

“The early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with the uptake of online booking and discounted offers increasing every month and the Blu Emu car park reaching record occupancy levels over the Christmas period.”