NZ’s Auckland Airport predicts profit in 2023 after two years of loss

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An Air New Zealand Dreamliner 787 takes off from Auckland Airport in New Zealand

(Reuters) -Auckland International Airport Ltd posted its second straight annual loss on Thursday but said it would return to profit in 2023 as demand for air travel picks up in the country following the easing of COVID-19 curbs.

New Zealand has in recent months reopened its borders and loosened restrictions that led to one of the fewest COVID-19 case loads in the world. The country welcomed hundreds of travellers from Australia in early April for the first time since mid-2021.

“After two years of disruption, careful cost management … our recovery is now well underway,” Chief Executive Carrie Hurihanganui said. “While we are hopeful of a strong recovery over the next 18 months, our outlook remains conservative.”

New Zealand’s biggest airport operator expects an underlying profit after tax in the range of NZ$50 million to NZ$100 million ($31.39 million and $62.78 million) for fiscal 2023.

It posted an underlying net loss after tax of NZ$11.6 million for the year ended June 30, compared with a loss of NZ$41.8 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the year rose 7% to NZ$300.3 million.

($1 = 1.5929 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Riya Sharma and Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Aditya Soni)