Sydney Airport leaders are happy to continue talking to investors who pitched takeover offers – if they raise their bid.
Chief executive Geoff Culbert on Friday discussed the airport’s first-half loss of $97.4 million and also said board members had no philosophical objection to a takeover.
“They are open to engaging with the Sydney Aviation Consortium if they are prepared to lift the offer,” he said.
Board members this month rejected a revised bid from the group and called the offers “opportunistic”, given the pandemic has devalued shares.
“The impact of COVID has been severe, but it will pass,” Mr Culbert said.
“The underlying fundamentals of the business haven’t changed.”
The airport’s first-half loss is 43 per cent greater than the previous first-half loss, after virus concerns and state and territory border closures prevented people flying.
The airport’s second-half of 2021 has not started well. Passenger numbers last month dived by more than 97 per cent on July last year to 102,000 due to the latest virus outbreak.
Mr Culbert was confident travellers would return once restrictions eased.
“The pathway to recovery is clear,” he said.
“Governments at all levels are highly motivated to roll out the vaccine, which has now been tied to lifting restrictions.
“As border restrictions are eased, international and domestic travel will be back, and Sydney Airport will be ready to go.”
Domestic travellers returned to the airport from January to April and were at 65 per cent of pre-COVID levels.
However first-half revenue slipped by 33 per cent to $341.6 million. This includes fees from airlines and passengers, its shop tenants, property and car parking.
Shareholders will not receive an interim payout.
Shares on the ASX were higher by 0.06 per cent to $7.72 at 1200 AEST.