Exeter airport owner plans investment spree after posting £109m profits
The new owner of Exeter Airport has announced annual pre-tax profits of £108.8 million and has said that a strong cash balance will support the growth planned for its five core operations.
The Coventry-based Rigby Group, which acquired Exeter Airport in June, and Newquay-based British International Helicopters in May, saw its bottom line boosted by the £222 million disposal of IT subsidiary Specialist Distribution Group to US-based Tech Data.
The £1.6 billion turnover group is poised for massive investment in its portfolio as it positions itself away from being technology-led group, to multi-asset owner-operator.
Family owned Rigby’s portfolio also includes technology solutions provider SCC, the luxury Eden Hotel Collection and property development business Rigby & Rigby.
Last week it announced that its UK-wide helicopter operations would be united under the British International Helicopters banner, to give the company a stronger identity to compete with international rivals.
Exeter Airport is part of Rigby’s Regional & City Airport Management, which also owns Coventry Airport and manages Blackpool and Derry airports.
Rigby’s chairman Sir Peter Rigby said: “The disposal of SDG last year realised a very substantial profit for the group and was the first step for us in repositioning from a principally technology-led business to a diverse portfolio of opportunities.
“With our year-end net cash balance of nearly £200 million , we are in a very strong position to maintain our strategy of further investment in the portfolio while continuing to support each business’ organic and acquisitive growth.
“Our aviation operations are encountering good opportunities for growth and we also expect to expand our hotel collection with acquisitions in the near future.
“The current financial year will see the completion of our transition phase and a continuation of our planned investment programme. Although trading conditions remain demanding, we are confident of continued expansion and will continue to invest in the right opportunities.”