MAHB expects ‘positive turnaround’ in international passenger traffic by May

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) foresees a “positive turnaround” in international passenger movement by May this year.

In a statement on April’s passenger traffic movement today, MAHB (fundamental: 1; valuation: 1.4) said there was an overall improvement in both domestic and international passenger movements at airports operated in Malaysia.

“Though the international still remained in the negative, there has been a progressive reduction in the negative quantum. We do foresee a positive turnaround in the international sector by May 2015.

“As in March, the contribution to April 2015 passenger traffic largely came from domestic movements at Malaysia Airports and, domestic and international movements at Istanbul Sabiha Gocken International Airport (Istanbul SGIA),” it said.

MAHB said year-on-year (y-o-y) traffic growth for the group (including Istanbul SGIA) improved further by 4.6%, with 9 million movements.

Domestic traffic recorded 4.9 million passengers, up 7.8%, while international traffic recorded 4 million, up 0.9% y-o-y, and “the first positive for international passenger traffic for the year”.

On a last-twelve-month basis, MAHB registered a total (including Istanbul SGIA) 3.6% growth with 108 million passengers.

The domestic sector recorded 4.1% growth, while the international sector declined by 0.8% over the same reporting period. Total aircraft movements increased by 8.1%.

Overall aircraft movements at KLIA increased by 7.6% over April 2014. Domestic and international aircraft movements increased by 8.4% and 7.2% respectively.

Istanbul SGIA recorded double-digit growth for both domestic and international sector achieving an overall 14.6% y-o-y for April, while overall aircraft movements increased by 15.1%.

According to MAHB, the decline in the China sector traffic has reduced significantly to 5% range, adding it also saw a reduction in the decline of the Middle East traffic.

It said Nepal, which has been affected by the earthquake, also recorded a positive of 10.5% in April, but it foresees a short- to medium-term decline in the Nepal traffic from May onwards.

Furthermore, the announcement of General Elections/Parliamentary Elections in Turkey may dampen international passenger growth until June, but it is likely there will be a boost in the domestic passenger growth, it said.

MAHB ended up 4 sen or 0.7% to RM6.21, giving it a market capitalisation of RM10.08 billion.

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