Council windfall from Manchester Airport Group shares

Date published: 14 December 2017

Rochdale Borough Council has been paid another multi-million pound dividend for its shares in Manchester Airport Group (MAG).

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is part owned by the region's councils and Rochdale Council will receive £3.4m after MAG announced an interim dividend for the half year to September 2017 of £55.3m, a 17.7% year-on-year increase.

The dividend comes after a record breaking summer season for MAG. An increase in both long-haul and short haul destinations, as well as higher frequencies to existing destinations ensured MAG passenger numbers increased by 9.1% year-on-year to 34.9m.

Manchester Airport is seeing record numbers of passengers through its doors and during the six months to September saw more passenger growth than any other UK airport (+9.2% to 16.6m).

The Council, along with the other GM councils, is to make further shareholder loans to MAG in order to drive further growth via a £1bn transformation programme.

Council Leader, Councillor Allen Brett explained: "As a shareholder in Manchester Airport Group the council has the opportunity to make further shareholder loans to the company in order to drive further growth at both Manchester and Stansted. This would be funded by prudential borrowing.

"There are significant financial benefits to the council, the direct return on the loan, and being part of the transformation programme that the loans will support. Without this capital investment there is a very real risk that the level of dividend we receive would reduce considerably in future years."

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