Acsa suffers R2.6bn loss during first year of pandemic
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CAPE TOWN - The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has recorded a loss of R2.6 billion in the past financial year, reflecting the devastating impact on aviation and tourism of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revenue was R2.2bn for the 12 months up until March 31, less than a third of the R7.1bn generated in the previous financial year.
While the company produced a profit of R1.4bn in 2019/20, the result for FY20/21 was a loss of R2.6bn, the second loss in the company’s 28-year history.
Chief executive Mpumi Mpofu said the wide and deep impact of global measures to combat the pandemic had a staggering impact on airlines, airports and tourism around the world.
Acsa’s passenger figures for the year fell by 78.2% from 21 million to 4.6 million. Total air traffic movements for Acsa declined by 60% from 249 519 to 99 880.
“These figures represent the low point in terms of pandemic impact because the 12 months involved either complete lockdown or significant restrictions on domestic and international flying,” said Mpofu.
“Since the start of the current financial year on April 1, there has been a continued gradual increase in domestic passenger figures, although off a low base. However, we are encouraged by developments of the past several weeks that suggest we can anticipate accelerated improvement.
“South Africa is not only off the UK’s red list but most of our key source markets such North America and within the EU have already removed travel restrictions for flying to and from the country. The increasing pace of vaccinations locally and in other countries, along with the advent of vaccination certificates, should encourage continued recovery in cross-border travel,” said Mpofu.
She believes conditions have improved to the extent that, if Covid infection rates remain subdued, South Africa can anticipate a stronger summer holiday season in terms of both domestic and international passengers than was thought possible at the height of the third wave of Covid infections in July.
Mpofu said the impact of the pandemic is reflected in every stream of Acsa’s revenue.
Aircraft landing fees were R368 million compared to R1.3bn the previous year, aircraft parking fees were R29m compared to R55m and passenger service charges fell to R414m compared to R2.387bn.
Non-aeronautical revenue fell by 61% to R134bn compared to R3.38bn the previous year. The non-aeronautical revenue includes advertising, retail, parking, car hire, property rental and hotel operations.
In response to the emerging impacts of the pandemic, Acsa also initiated a series of funding and liquidity management activities from as early as March 2020 onwards to secure its short-term position and to bolster its long-term financial sustainability.
The company disposed of its 10% shareholding in Mumbai International Airport for R1.26bn, received a loan of R810m from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and received R2.3bn from the issuance of preference shares to government.