Glasgow Prestwick Airport reports strong financial performance for 2019/20

Friday 18 December, 14:41 Europe/London
  • Increased activity, particularly in aviation services and freight help return airport to profit
  • Ongoing interest from industry as sales process resumes

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has confirmed a strong financial performance for the 12 months to 31 March 2020 and a turnaround from a £1m loss to a £3m operating profit.

The airport’s audited accounts show that revenue increased by 46% from £24.6m to £35m driven largely by increased activity in aviation services and freight handling.

Total profit for the year was £5.5m, a 244% improvement on the previous year.

Stewart Adams, Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive, said that the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had not yet been realised but that the airport was in a strong financial position.

He said: “Clearly these are challenging times for the aviation industry and future revenues, especially regarding passenger travel, which has been severely affected by the impact of coronavirus.

“However, Glasgow Prestwick Airport continues to play an important role in Scotland’s economy, over and above passenger travel, through vital international freight and aviation services. These financial performance improvements have been based on a strong emphasis on the development of new revenue opportunities and customers.”

Whilst passenger numbers through the airport had reduced from the previous year, non-scheduled and other aviation activities pushed the business into profit. Fuel sales volumes increased 85% year-on-year at 36 million litres and freight volumes remained strong at 14,000 tonnes.

In October, Glasgow Prestwick Airport started a new voluntary competitive sales process following renewed interest in the airport.

Mr Adams said: “We believe there is sufficient ongoing interest from various sources to attempt to return the airport to private ownership.”

Since April, Glasgow Prestwick Airport and its specialist freight services, has been involved in the welcoming and handling of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in Scotland.

The airport will also support the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021 and could involve up to 30,000 delegates, world leaders and international media travelling to Scotland.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is owned by TS Prestwick Holdco, a private limited company wholly owned by the Scottish Government.