Retail stores show flat performance at Heathrow in first quarter of 2014
Retail stores including duty and tax-free and luxury outlets performed flat to last year. Heathrow said this was partly a reflection of the commencement of an extension of the luxury retail space in Terminal 5 which is expected to cause some disruption. Performance is also likely to have been impacted by the strength of sterling relative to the same period last year and the shift in the Easter holiday peak demand from March in 2013 to April in 2014.
In the first three months of 2014, Heathrow’s traffic rose by 0.5% to 16 million passengers, with an average load factor of 70.7%. Taking into account the movement in the timing of Easter, the underlying rate of growth for the first three months of 2014 is estimated to be in the region of 2%.
The airport’s revenue grew by 10.8% to £576 million in the three month period.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Heathrow performed well in the first quarter. Financial performance was strong and passenger satisfaction ratings were at their highest ever level, reflecting steady operational improvement.
“Terminal 2 is on time and on budget and will further improve Heathrow’s passenger satisfaction ratings when it opens on 4 June. Long-term prospects are also bright and our submission to the Airports Commission in May will set out the case for building on Heathrow’s strength as a global hub that can connect all of the UK to the world’s fastest growing markets.”
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