Loans not drawn

Prestwick posts profit in year without support

Prestwick has not drawn down loans for three years

Prestwick Airport was able to report a year of profit without financial support from the government, according to accounts to the end of March.

The Ayrshire airport has been in public ownership since 2013 when the government paid £1 to keep it in business.

It still owes the taxpayer £43 million but it has not drawn down new loan funds for three years. Prestwick did not receive support during the most recent financial year and does not expect to need any in the current 12 months.

Attempts to sell the airport have been unsuccessful, but in the meantime its performance continues to improve. It posted revenue of £34.2 million and a pre-tax profit of £1.2 million for the 12 months to March.

Operating profit came in at £1.9 million, its fifth consecutive year of improving results and the third in the black.

Cargo volumes rose by 36% to 18,000 tonnes, passenger numbers more than doubled to 118,000 and refuelling was up 89% to 36 million litres. The value of fuel sold, at £20.8 million, made up the bulk of revenue in the financial year.

Prestwick supported the work of the NHS vaccine programme and handled the arrival and departure of 30 heads of state to COP26 in Glasgow last year.

Chief executive Ian Forgie said: “The board and I are pleased with another year of good performance in difficult economic conditions and pay tribute to all our staff who made it happen.

“With the full support of the Scottish Government the new board is focused now on building Prestwick’s core strengths and investing for the future.  

“Our masterplan is looking afresh at growth opportunities in cargo, expanding aircraft maintenance and training facilities, the spaceport programme and delivering our sustainability strategy ambitions.

“All of this will take some time to deliver against the current stormy global economic backdrop and inflationary pressures.

“However, the progress made is there for all to see, our strategy is clear, and the future is looking bright for the airport.”

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