| Press Release - 9 March 2010
BAA MORTGAGES EVERYTHING AS CASH CRUNCH HITS STANSTED
Documents recently filed with Companies House show that BAA Stansted has now mortgaged its entire assets and even taken out mortgages with the Royal Bank of Scotland on at least 39 local homes bought by the company in connection with its plans for a second runway. [Note 1]
BAA's financial accounts for 2009 show that Stansted's operating profit slumped from £81 million in 2008 to £27 million last year, reflecting the sharp downturn in passenger numbers and flights at the Essex airport. Moreover this figure of £27 million is before paying the interest on its debts. When adjusted to take account of this, SSE estimates that the airport made a net loss of £61 million last year. [Note 2]
SSE economics adviser Brian Ross commented: "It smacks of desperation when BAA even has to mortgage the very houses it has bought in connection with its second runway plans. How on earth can BAA continue to say, with a straight face, that it remains fully committed to a £3 billion second Stansted runway when it is already mortgaged right up to the hilt? It's a case of Walter Mitty pretending to be Paul Getty."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Note 1 - The 39 houses mortgaged by Stansted Airport Limited are in the villages of Takeley, Bambers Green, Molehill Green, Tilty, Great Easton and Broxted. The full list of properties is available from SSE upon request.
Note 2 - BAA does not provide separate information on Stansted's debt level or interest charges but the combined figures for Stansted and Heathrow show debts of £12.0bn and interest charges of £800m last year. Stansted has an 11% share of the combined regulatory asset base and this is a reasonable basis for apportioning the debt and interest charges. This indicates an £88m million interest bill for Stansted last year. The relevant BAA financial accounts can be viewed here.
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, SSE: M 0777 552 3091 & firstname.lastname@example.org