GTAA Reports 2014 Results: Toronto Pearson Experiences Strongest Passenger Growth in Last 10 Years

TORONTO, March 11, 2015 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (the "GTAA") today reported its financial and operating results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.  Passenger volumes grew by 6.8 per cent during 2014 as compared to 2013, reflecting both the economic strength of the Greater Toronto Region, and the role of Toronto Pearson as Canada's largest airport and North America's second busiest airport in terms of international passengers.

"Our overall passenger volume growth of 2.5 million passengers in 2014 tells the story of Toronto Pearson as a major international airport. Last year, Toronto Pearson experienced the second highest growth rate among North America's large hub airports," said Howard Eng, CEO.  "As we continue to grow, we are focused on delivering a premium passenger experience through enhanced retail and food amenities.  We continue to work with the airlines and government agencies to move passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible."

A total of 38.6 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2014, a 6.8 per cent increase compared to 2013, representing the highest annual growth in the last 10 years.  During 2014, passenger activity in the international sector increased by 7.5 per cent, transborder sector activity increased by 6.8 per cent, and domestic sector activity increased by 6.3 per cent, over prior year.  During 2014, when compared to 2013, air carriers serving Toronto Pearson increased service (on a net basis) on a total of 60 routes, representing either completely new service or an increased capacity on existing routes.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2014, the GTAA reported total revenues of $1.2 billion, compared to $1.1 billion in 2013.  The continued growth in non-aeronautical revenue in the retail and food and beverage sectors reflects the success of the GTAA's commercial redevelopment program.  In addition to the 32 new retail and food and beverage locations opened in 2013, 19 new retail and food and beverage locations were opened at Toronto Pearson in 2014.

Total operating expenses in 2014 were $732.3 million, which included $165.1 million in ground rent and payments-in-lieu of real property taxes, compared to $713.2 million in 2013.  The increase in operating expenses during 2014 included higher operating expenses caused by the prolonged winter weather that increased the cost of snow removal and utilities during the first three months of 2014.

Earnings before interest and financing costs were $422.3 million and $397.7 million in 2014 and 2013, respectively.  After accounting for interest and financing costs, which during 2014 included a one-time charge of $102.3 million related to the GTAA's purchase and cancellation of $399.3 million face value of its outstanding debt, the GTAA recorded net loss of $59.1 million in 2014.  Excluding the one-time charge, the GTAA recorded net income of $43.3 million, compared to net income of $7 million in 2013.  

During the three-month period ended December 31, 2014, the GTAA recorded net loss of $22.9 million, after accounting for one-time charge of $21.6 million related to the GTAA's purchase and cancellation of $80.9 million face value of its outstanding debt.  Excluding the one-time charge, the GTAA recorded net loss of $1.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014, compared to net loss of $14 million during the same period in 2013.  Due to seasonal patterns in air traffic and operating expenses, expenses typically exceed revenues in the fourth quarter of each year. 

During the third quarter of 2014, GTAA released an economic impact study conducted by a leading, independent research firm, Frontier Economics.  Beyond the traditional direct and indirect economic impacts supported by employment at the Airport, the study considered the additional economic impacts facilitated by air travel.  Frontier Economics concluded that, in 2012, Toronto Pearson facilitated 277,000 jobs, or 4.2 per cent of total Ontario employment and $35.4 billion, or 5.6 per cent of Ontario GDP.  A copy of the study can be found on the GTAA's website.

The GTAA's 2014 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA's Financial Statements for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2014, which are available at www.torontopearson.com and on the Canadian Securities Administrators' website at www.sedar.com.

The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

SOURCE Greater Toronto Airports Authority

For further information: GTAA Media Office (416) 776-3709, Twitter: @TorontoPearson

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