BAA Sees Profits, Cash Flow Up In 2009

British airports operator BAA reported a drop in passenger numbers and profits in 2008 but said its expects underlying profits and cash flow to rise in the coming 'challenging' year.

The unit of Spain's Ferrovial also said the planned disposal of London's Gatwick Airport is progressing on schedule.

The company said group passenger traffic declined 2.7 percent to 151.4 million, with traffic at its three London airports declining 2.6 percent to 123.4 million.

Adjusted operating profit for the year fell 23.3 percent to GBP472 million pounds on a 16 percent rise in revenue to GBP2.3 billion.

"BAA performed strongly in 2008 although its performance was affected by a drop in passengers, which reflects the general economic situation," said BAA chief executive Colin Matthews.

"2009 will be a challenging year but BAA is resourced and structured to meet those challenges and continue to invest in the capital program that is vital for the future of the business, its passengers and our airline customers."

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