Neels Blom Writer at large

State-owned Airports Company SA (Acsa) has again reported a healthy, if substantially lower, profit despite a hefty reduction in the fees the company has been permitted to charge its aeronautical customers. Acsa said on Thursday its profit for the year to end-March had fallen 58% to R843m from R2bn a year earlier. Revenue was down 20% to R6.9bn. The performance of Acsa, which owns and operates nine airports in SA, is exceptional among state-owned enterprises, many of which have reported consistent losses and rely on state bailouts to keep operating. A weakening economy and resulting lower traffic volumes further contributed to the decline in revenue, though a retroactive 35.5% cut in the fees it was allowed to levy under its operator’s permission was the main driver. A delay in the permission being granted meant Acsa in turn delayed infrastructure spending, which pushed up repair and maintenance costs.

The tariff reduction saw the contribution of aeronautical revenue to the to...

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