SEPANG : Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's (MAHB) net profit for the financial year ended December 31 2013 dropped 1.4 per cent to RM388.93 million from RM394.46 million a year ago, due to higher total costs. However, group revenue grew by 15.5 per cent to RM4.09 billion from RM3.54 billion previously. MAHB chief financial officer Faizal Mansor said the decline in earnings is mainly attributed to higher user fee, staff costs, repair and maintenance costs as well as utilities costs. He said the higher revenue is due to an increase in aeronautical revenue, retail sales and non-airport operations. For the fourth quarter, MAHB's net profit stood at RM48.51 million , down 38 per cent from RM78.02 million . Revenue also fell to RM1.12 billion from RM1.32 billion recorded in the previous year's corresponding quarter. Earnings per share were at 3.94 sen compared with 6.43 sen . Faizal said MAHB had registered higher losses from its Turkey unit, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport , during the quarter. He said the lower revenue in the quarter under review was due to lower income from the construction of klia2 and the expansion of the Penang International Airport . Despite the lower income and revenue, MAHB outperformed its KPI (key performance indicator) target by achieving RM827.7 million in earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) last year. This achievement is better than expected and passenger numbers marked the highest growth in the past 20 years. Passenger volume at the 39 airports it operates in the country grew 18.4 per cent to 79.5 million in the FY2013. Both international and domestic passenger movements recorded strong growth at 16.8 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively in 2013. Total passenger movements recorded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) increased by 19.1 per cent, with both the KLIA main terminal building and Low-Cost Carrier Terminal registering positive growth of 24.6 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively. Total aircraft movements grew 14.2 per cent to 737,759 with the domestic sector recording a higher growth of 15.1 per cent compared with the international sector which posted a 12.6 per cent growth. Faizal said the company is targeting a passenger growth of 9.7 per cent in 2014. "We remain optimistic in 2014 because of the Visit Malaysia Year. This is a very positive signal for us," he said. He added that the passenger growth forecast is also in anticipation of higher passenger movements when klia2 starts operations on May 2 this year.
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