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Manchester Airport: The BIG Numbers

As Manchester Airport Group announce over £420m in revenue, Confidential give you the important (and not so important) figures...

Written by . Published on December 9th 2014.

Manchester Airport: The BIG Numbers

MANCHESTER Airport Group (MAG) have recorded a bumper first half of the financial year, with revenues up from £390m last year to £421m this year between April and September 2014.

A £31m interim dividend will be paid to shareholders, with the City Council expected to net in the region of £11m while the other nine Greater Manchester councils receive £1m each.

The group - which is majority owned by Greater Manchester's ten local authorities* and owns Manchester, Stanstead, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports - recorded an 8.7% rise in passenger numbers to 28m across all four airports.

Manchester Airport alone recorded a 7.1% rise to 13.3m passengers (Stanstead 11.3m, East Midlands 3.1m and Bournemouth 0.5m), and numbers at Manchester are expected to hit a pre-recession peak of 22 million this financial year.

Rising passenger numbers saw EBITDA rise to £183m and operating profit jump by 8.7% to £117.6m for the six months.

A £31m interim dividend will be paid to shareholders, with the City Council expected to net in the region of £11m while the other nine councils receive £1m each.

*Manchester City Council hold a 35.5% stake in MAG, while the nine other Greater Manchester Councils hold 29%.

Manchester AirportManchester Airport

MANCHESTER AIRPORT IN NUMBERS (April to September 2014):

- 13.3m passengers, up by 880,00k (7.1%) on last year.

- 21.8m expected passengers for the year.

- 55m potential capacity per annum.

- 5.2m hold bags and 48,457 tonnes of cargo processed.

- 10.5m security trays screened (2.8m less than passengers?)

- 22m people live within a two hour drive of the airport.

- 50 countries served by the airport.

- 97,683 passenger flights.

- Top 5 international routes - Palma, Dalaman, Dubai, Tenerife and Dublin.

- 6215m of runway (two runways).

- 125 aircraft parking stands.

- 19,000 staff on site.

- 52,115 pints of beer served.

- 11,164 main meals served.

- 20,000 bottles of vodka sold.

- 1 pair of RayBans sold every 30mins.

Manchester Airport terminal 2Manchester Airport terminal 2

Neil Thompson, Chief Financial Officer of MAG, said:

“M.A.G has delivered a strong financial performance in the first six months of the year, meeting or exceeding its financial targets and continuing the growth rate delivered over the past few years.
“A busy summer period saw more passengers than ever before using our four airports and taking advantage of the largest number of destinations that we have ever been able to offer. Our focus on long term commercial agreements has made this possible and we continue to focus on further diversifying our route offering, particularly with regards long haul.
“I am especially pleased with the performance of Manchester which is reaching its record annual passenger level and Stansted which is now showing industry leading levels of passenger growth."


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43 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

So councils, a branch of government, make big profits from an airport while the state is subjecting us to 'green' taxes in order to save the world from eco-catastrophe? Surely government, central and local, should be heavily taxing airports making them extremely uneconomical to run, not running several themselves and so contributing to the eco-problems they use as an excuse to tax us. Our councils should be ashamed to be in the airport industry. They are helping ruin the planet for everyone, especially people in poor countries who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Calum McGDecember 9th 2014.

Nar, I want to go on holiday, thanks. You're talking nonsense.

DarrenDecember 9th 2014.

Isn't it environmentally friendly to fly from your local airport? Last year almost 500,000 people from the north west had to travel down to London to fly to Honk Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. The total number of flights people from the north west have to take from a London airport is 4m a year. People are always going to fly so why not fly from the nearest airport and boost the local economy? I applaud the people in charge of the Airport. We want more flights, more routes, more jobs and more money spent in our region.

DarrenDecember 9th 2014.

Hong! hahaha

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

Darren, my council boasts of its eco-credentials and has the usual 'policy statement' about all things green. It carefully considers and sometimes objects to certain schemes like incinerators and fracking on environment grounds. That's why I think it is a bit strange it actively participates in the airport industry because it is profitable. I'm sure Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth could probably make a few quid too if they invested in various aspects of the CO2 belching aviation industry, but we'd call them hypocrites wouldn't we?

DarrenDecember 9th 2014.

Don't see what you are upset about. Do you want no flights? Airports closed? Or 4m people driving and flying from here to London to then make a journey they could make from Manchester airport.

AndyDecember 9th 2014.

With a potential capacity of 55m people,2 runways, 3 terminals, why don't our Natioanal airlines locate some of their long flights in Manchester. We don't want shuttles to Heathrow, we want to fly from Manchester, incidentally, voted UK's Best Airport again.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
David Michael EvansDecember 11th 2014.

National airlines? You mean BA? It did operate MAN - LAX for a while, but withdrew from the route, because of low business yield. Heathrow is far more profitable. You can't force airlines to relocate flights, just because you think Manchester Airport deserves it. International flights from Heathrow, given a choice, would relocate to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Dubai rather than Manchester or a regional airport. A number of US and Mid East airlines operate from Manchester. If there is demand here, the airlines will come in response. Otherwise not.

David Michael EvansDecember 11th 2014.

If there was demand from Manchester, for a non-stop MAN - BEIJING, or MAN - TOKYO, then a foreign airline would have started it ....but I can't see a demand for a daily flight, yet, for a route such as above. Emirates has mopped up a lot of onward traffic to longhaul destinations connecting via Dubai.

Poster BoyDecember 9th 2014.

The SMALL number. The number of flights out of Manchester operated by the national carrier.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

"With a potential capacity of 55m people" Anyone who visits this airport regularly and has to endure lengthy security queues, overcrowded terminals and (outside of T1) a lack of food and drink offering would surely dispute this point.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

Agreed. T1 security queues are terrible, and the T3 departure lounge is laughable. MAG have a headline claim that this expansion to 55m can be achieved without a new terminal - but the level of redevelopment of the existing terminals that will be required is pretty much akin to having new terminals.

DarrenDecember 9th 2014.

Yep it does need money spent on certain aspects. It would be in all 10 councils interests to plough some of this money back into the airport. If it was more user friendly and started to attract more people they will get bigger payouts each year.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

If our councils are to profit from involvement in the very environmentally unfriendly aviation industry I think they should be banned from spending any of our money plying us with environmental/climate change propaganda and any staff who do this should be made redundant. My council's Greenhouse Gas Emissions statement not one mention is made of its involvement in the airport business.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DarrenDecember 9th 2014.

Didn't the airport pay a substantial amount to help fund metrolink?

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

Manchester Airport is a absolute disgrace,not a success story as this article implied.Back in the 1990s we were told with some justification that public ownership was better and it was true,there was investment in the new runway and new terminal.But what since then in a time when Heathrow has invested over a billion in a new terminal?.Two things happened they ignored budget airlines letting Liverpool grow from 200,00 to 5 million and they had a failed policy of buying other UK airports.At the same time there has been NO significant investment in new terminals for over 20 years.All they have done is sweat the existing assets like the most profit driven private operator.The facilities compared to other leading international airportys are a bloody disgrace.The terminals are cramped,have appalling toilets,immigration and baggage reclaim facilities and have no heating at night.the passenger experience is shambolic and hopeless.But as long as the councils get their dividend they don't care about the passenger experience. The pasenger numbers considering what they projected at the time the second runway was being planned are a testimony to a shocking failure of management .Yet they being presented as a success.This is a big fat lie.Instead of buying London airports,which they are investing heavily in,they should invest in the local airport but Manchester council are big hypocrite on one hand preaching for more investment in the north while they invest instead in London.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 10th 2014.

Would that be the same Liverpool Airport that seen a 20% drop in passenger numbers in the last two years?

DarrenDecember 10th 2014.

There's continual investment in the airport. From the Metrolink to Airport City. The new security measures in terminal 1 is the latest technology available. From next week it will help to deal with an extra 700 passengers per hour. There is also a new immigration area due to open in terminal 3. The airport is looking to add 1m passengers every year for the next 25 years, so they have no option but to invest. I disagree that the airport is a failure, and I'm sure the 10 councils who got £20m dividend do too.

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

That would be the Liverpool Airport thar Manchester gave all the low cost airline business to and now is experiencing rapid decline because eventually Manchester was forced to welcome budget airlines and Liveroool has lost lot business to Manchester.So anoymous if Manchesrer had 15 years ago not made a catastrophic business decision it would have had millions more passengers and revenue and Liverpool would never have grown in the first place.The management of MAG should all been fired for that terrible decision.

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

That's not investment in airport experience for passengers Darren.The terminals. At Manchester are a shambles and want demolition ane the creation of entirely new terminals.Something the socialist council is not interested in preferring to buy a London airport.All Thst money Darren it spent on Londoncould have been used to rebuild Manchester airport and create a world class airport.

DAVIDDecember 10th 2014.

Quiet day at home today (I don't work you see) so I am going to really get stuck in to you all.

DarrenDecember 10th 2014.

Or MAG could buy and own the airports that are ripe for development, with huge potential for expansion as the others are full to bursting. Profits made from Stansted mean bigger dividend payouts for Greater Manchester Councils doesn't it? Don't see what the issue is with owning a London airport that makes Manchester money. I'm sure money will be available to upgrade and renew the terminals. The people in charge know things need upgrading and it will happen.

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

Darren does London invest in the transport infrastructure of Paris or New York?.Of course not,so why is Manchester investing money in a rival city when instead it could have invested that money improving Manchester airport and so increasing the profits there.

David is not himselfDecember 11th 2014.

Dave - are you ok sweetie? You seem kinds agitated. Gotta channel that rage into something positive hunny. Why don't you run for office? Seems like you know a lot about this politics. Have a good day and try not to be so mad xxx

AnonymousDecember 10th 2014.

A lot of impressive numbers. Shame it is not reflected in the look of the airport. T3.......what a dump

16 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidDecember 10th 2014.

You right the airport is a right dump.I cannot understand why it's architecture is so terrible visually and as user experience.Other cities like Barcelona have far better airports.Its only because London Airports are so bad that Manchester is not seen for what it is,a terrible airport befitting a third world city.

AnonymousDecember 10th 2014.

You're proposing Barcelona as a shining example of a good airport? Haha. Do you ever take a day off from talking bollocks David?

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

Anoymous compared to Manchester is good.You gormless Leese fanboys accept mediocrity perhaps your too dim to imagine a non Labour run City that might then have a world class airport.I could list dozens of airports better than Manchester none of which are owned by the city councils.

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

One other thing about the Labour owned Manchester Airport.We have the likes of Kevin Peel complaint about the lack of gambling regulation yet Manchester Airport has scores of gambling machines,and in a environment that is not exclusive to over 18.I not seen any other airport that does this.There should be no gambling machines in airport it's not a casino or betting shop.

DAVIDDecember 10th 2014.

We have the likes of (INSERT ANY NON TORY HERE) complaining about (INSERT BULLSHIT HERE) and also Labour have ruined everything. It's an AIRPORT not a BAR/LOUNGE/RESTURANT/SHOP. There should be no duty free, no bars, no BOOTS where and certainly NO CCHAIRS for anyone to sit on. It's not a front room FFS. Oh and by the wat I HATE mancon.

DavidDecember 10th 2014.

Labout does not like criticism in this City,if thinks it has a divine right to rule.If you don't agree with this it does not mean you support the Tories.I would support any party that does well for Manchesrer,and Thst includes Labour.Labour numpties on the other hand will suppport the Party when it does nothing for this city.Like Hazel Blears and Lucy Ppwell their party loyalty is stronger than their loyalty to the North.

GimboidDecember 10th 2014.

Transparent bollocks David, your party allegiance is blatant and warps everything you ever post on here. If Labour has done so badly by Manchester, why is the Chancellor giving it so much attention now? Why is Manchester leading the way for local devolution in England? Why is Manchester far and away the most highest profile English city after London? It's not because the LABOUR city council have been sitting on their hands for the last 20 years.

DarrenDecember 11th 2014.

Wasn't a report released this week showing the most deprived areas of the country and the places with the highest dependency on benefits. How did the Labour controlled Greater Manchester do?

rinkydinkDecember 11th 2014.

I think Labour at local level and Labour at national level are two completely different prospects. There's no doubt about how much the council have done for Manchester. There is also no doubt that nationally, Labour cannot run an economy. The proof is still around us

DavidDecember 11th 2014.

Gimboid you are a totally deluded,psychological malcontent with a twisted,distorted view of things and people,coloured by your slavish adoption and belief in the Labour Party. Manchester made its wealth and was more successful before the Labour Party got its grip on power.If you want to judge the City performance my friend in terms of Liverpool or Birmingham then no doubt numpties like you think the council is doing well.But I prefer to judge it compared to other cities international,who are its competitors and compared to them it's a filthy,dump,with terrible schools,a lack of local democracy and accountability.Also decades of Labour rule and this is one most deprived cities and that's not the government fault,that's the council fault.

Trish KarneyDecember 11th 2014.

Why were Labour against the M60 and the second runway at Manchester Airport. The Blair Government didn't give a toss about the North. At least Osborne seems sincere.

GimboidDecember 11th 2014.

Oh David, put the junior thesaurus away and stop using words you don't understand. I have no loyalty to the Labour party. To lay my cards on the table, I have only ever voted for Labour once, out of eight general and local elections I've voted in. I've never been a member. So my views are NOT coloured by any bias. I am NEUTRAL in my views of Labour and its relationship with Manchester. I can only imagine that your obsessive and out of proportion hate for the party arises from your tribal from the other side, or perhaps from some unpleasant personal experience involving Labour. Perhaps a local councillor made a face at you when you were a child. I note you have not even tried to answer my points about Manchester's successes. Says it all.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2014.

More of a MCC town hall "apologist" than a Labour one, aren't you Gimboid? Oh and I'll give you a two word answer for the reason behind Manchester's recent successes - GEORGE OSBORNE. (Just a pity we don't have more "local" MPs & politicians like him, eh Gimboid?)

DAVID pot kettle blackDecember 11th 2014.

David - You put GIMBOID's name in by accident I think. You meant "IAM totally deluded,psychological malcontent with a twisted,distorted view of things and people,coloured by your slavish adoption and belief in the TORY Party.".

Stop Arguing!December 11th 2014.

Really tiresome seeing all Manchester Confidential discussions taken over by the same middle aged cranks, arguing like school children over and over again. Please, please, please SHUT UP!

DavidDecember 11th 2014.

I am not suggesting Labour done anything good in Manchester.I think Stringer had ambition for this city and he and Bob Scott did well turning things around,but Leese has been in power longer than a African dictator and lacks ambition Manchester bloody well should do well considering the talent inn this city for business and creative industries.But I would argue with better leadership it could do far better.If that makes me anti Labour so be it,the city is more important than the Labour Party.

Scott NealDecember 10th 2014.

Are you sure the pints of beer figure consumed is right? By my reckoning that's a pint for every 255 passengers...

David BentleyDecember 29th 2014.

I’m not sure where to start here. But first off, this isn’t a rant. I don’t do rants. I am an analyst and consultant in the air transport industry but all comments here are made in a personal capacity. Revenue growth at MAG was strong as you report but that is but one part of the story. An EBITDA margin of 43% is not good by industry standards. It isn’t bad either but when Heathrow Airport Holdings can manage 16 percentage points better, questions need to be asked. (I could give other examples but there is not enough space). Over 80% can be achieved and is, by primary level airports like Manchester, even in these difficult times. The interim dividend is handy for the councils; they must be rubbing their hands at getting £1 million. Nice little earner, eh? But what would have happened if MAG had been sold for up to £3 billion in 2006 at the top of the market (and that figure was quite achievable at the time, with Leeds-Bradford changing hands into the private sector at 30 times its earnings)? There were proven foreign operators (not chancers) sniffing around then that would have paid up. Well, nine of the councils would have got £150 million each and Manchester £1.65 billion (less ‘professional fees’ etc). They could pave the High Street of Oldham in gold with that sort of money. The rise in passenger numbers (+7.1%) is quite impressive. It exceeds most of the airports in Manchester’s ‘class’ (primary), e.g. in the same period Birmingham +6.2%; Edinburgh +3.2%; Glasgow +3.4%. However, I suspect that growth is mainly from the low-cost airline segment (e.g. Ryanair), whereas in the case of the others it is more from the full service/network segment. If Manchester purports to be a ‘world city’ at any level it is the latter segment it must attract. Captains of Industry do not want to fly here on Ryanair. At least Cathay Pacific is a step in the right direction if the service is (a) sustainable and (b) can be increased to daily, and quickly, and if it avoids the potential pitfall of causing a reduction in the service level of Singapore Airlines, which is the one airline most likely to be influenced adversely by Cathay Pacific’s arrival. There is always a quid-pro-quo in this industry. Always. You can pigeon-hole Manchester by its ‘top 5 destinations.’ Three holiday hotspots, a notable ‘friends and relatives’ one (Dublin) and what will become the world’s #1 hub this year. That doesn’t say ‘World City’. But talking about passenger growth rates you need to look hard at what is happening at MAG’s new baby, Stansted. In the last four months Stansted’s growth rate has been 2; 3.71; 9.7; and – wait for this – 20.2 percentage points higher than Manchester’s. That means that in November, Stansted grew at more than 4.5 times the rate of Manchester. Since MAG took over at Stansted it has almost doubled the number of airlines operating there. While the councils will be equally happy with that you have to ask yourself: (1) When will Stansted overtake Manchester to become #3 UK airport by passenger numbers? Possibly within a year at this rate. (2) What does that imply for the Manchester Airports Group? It’s a good thing Stansted didn’t get the nod for four runways in its submission to the Airports Commission despite all MAG’s efforts being put into promoting it because Manchester could soon have been in the sidings. And it still might be. Believe me there is absolutely no certainty about the outcome of the Airports Commission’s deliberations and Stansted could yet come back into the frame. But no case of any consequence was made for Manchester to the Commission other than restatements of the known facts (“can take up to 55 million passengers per annum with current infrastructure” etc). Since Heathrow Airport pitched up in Manchester a few months ago with extensive advertising, encouraging local travellers to choose ‘the Heathrow Hub’ and holding meetings with Chambers of Commerce around Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire (and even getting some of them to support its case), alarm bells have been ringing at MAG. But it’s a bit late to be pleading with the Commission’s Sir Howard Davies (a Manc) to think about Manchester now. It was one of the worst strategic decisions I have ever seen but inevitable considering that the partial privatisation of MAG (c.35% to Industry Funds Management) was predicated on MAG’s successful bid for Stansted. A quick note to David Michael Evans. British Airways has never operated a direct Manchester – Los Angeles scheduled service. Neither has any other airline. Oh, that they would. It is a very important route target as I am sure the MAG management would confirm. I suspect that you are thinking of New York, which BA operated for many years before ‘ceding’ it to oneworld partner American Airlines on the pretext that the route economics did not stack up. (Presumably they do for American, in which case the question is, why does BA not model itself on its own partner)? The fact of the matter is that Mr William Walsh, the Chief Executive of IAG, which owns British Airways, has no time for international air services to and from the regions. This applies equally to other non-London airports such as those I mentioned earlier. Essentially British Airways is London Airways. The only international flights it operates outside of London are a couple of franchised ones at Manchester (Sun Air) and those it attributes to a small shareholding in Flybe. Mr Walsh’s rationale is that there is insufficient yield (revenue per seat) in the regions, especially in the long haul segment. What he wants is the First and Business Class passengers generated by the City of London, Mayfair and Kensington/Chelsea. That does not stop IAG tinkering with subsidiaries with alternative operating models such as OpenSkies (which doesn’t even operate in the UK). But the critical point is that by denying foreign business people the ability to choose to fly by BA to cities like Manchester he sends out a message to those people and it is this: ‘We (the ‘national flag carrier of the UK’) do not think it is worth our time or effort to do that’. By implication those cities are not worth visiting, at leastv from an economic perspective. It staggers me that the political classes do not get this and work themselves into a lather about it, by which I mean those in the Town Hall, MPs, MEPs and the likes of George (Mr Northern Powerhouse) Osborne. (Of the MEPs I make an exception for Gary Titley, the now retired Labour Leader in the European Parliament, who did). Otherwise, I personally make more noise about it than all of the above put together. It is simply not acceptable for Mr Walsh or his acolyte Mr Keith Williams, the CEO of British Airways that you never heard of, to satisfy themselves and shareholders with yield and profit. Even though it is a private company it has a much broader remit than that as ‘the national airline’ and Mr Walsh (who is not British) needs to understand that. If he doesn’t like it then he should rename the airline, forthwith. All this, of course, raises the question of a new airline for the north (as Scotland would almost certainly have opted for in the event of a ‘yes’ vote), but I’m out of time…

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