UK airport retailers grow amid tough trading year

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Losses grow at British Airports Authority despite strong retail sales.

British Airports Authority (BAA) posted a pre-tax loss of £822 million in 2009, almost half a billion pounds more than in 2008, the company reported on Monday.

Revenue rose by 8.3 percent to £1.97 billion for the year to 31 December 2009

Passenger numbers were slightly down through the company’s UK airports, but spending per passenger in airport retailers was up by 4.8 percent to £439.5 million thanks to net retail income per passenger rising by 6.7 percent.

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BAA described the retail growth as “a strong performance given the general economic environment.”

Specialist retailer sales, the category in which watch and jewellery revenue falls, totalled £66.3 million, the second largest contributor after duty free.

BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said the results represent substantial progress in 2009 against a difficult economic backdrop.

“Our operational performance is improving and we will invest more than £1 billion this year to upgrade our airports” he added.

He went on to praise airport retailers for managing to push up retail spending per passenger and improving customer service.

 

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