TORONTO, March 24, 2022 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) today reported its financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2021. Passenger activity increased 279.4 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2021 and decreased 4.5 per cent during 2021 as compared to the same periods of 2020, respectively. The increase in passenger traffic during the fourth quarter of 2021 reflected the impact of the vaccine rollout and the easing of government travel restrictions in the second half of the year. Full year 2021 results are not entirely comparable to 2020 results given that during the first quarter of 2020 airport operations were not yet impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (also as “COVID-19” or “pandemic”). Nevertheless, all measures of operating activity continue to be well below 2019 levels due to the impact of the pandemic on the GTAA and the global aviation industry in general.
“While COVID-19 continues to have a dramatic impact on passenger traffic and revenues at Toronto Pearson, particularly where full year statistics are concerned, fourth quarter numbers provide a glimmer of hope,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “Toronto Pearson sits at the heart of the second-largest employment zone in the country and pre-pandemic, the airport facilitated $42 billion of Ontario’s GDP. As travel restrictions ease and with the right government policy environment, Toronto Pearson is poised to build back smarter, healthier and more profitable, and in turn help to drive a strong recovery for Ontario and Canada.”
Key Financial and Passenger Information
During the fourth quarter of 2021, passenger activity increased when compared to the same period of 2020, although the number of passenger and flight activity remains significantly lower, when compared to the same period in 2019. During 2021, passenger activity through Toronto Pearson and resultant revenues were slightly lower, as compared to 2020, due to regular operations in the first quarter of 2020 not being materially impacted by the pandemic and offset by an improvement in operations in the second half of 2021 over the same period of 2020.
Earnings before interest and financing costs and amortization (“EBITDA”) during the fourth quarter of 2021 increased significantly due to a large increase in operating activity and revenues and continued costs savings. EBITDA during 2021 also increased, as compared to 2020, due to significant cost savings, with a slight increase in revenues partially offset by the pre-pandemic results from the first quarter of 2020. Net loss during the fourth quarter of 2021 decreased to $47.6 million due to higher revenues and continued cost savings as compared to the same period of 2020. Net loss during 2021 decreased to $350.4 million as compared to 2020 due to two factors, first a significant improvement in operating activities in the second half of 2021, and second the fact that the net income of the first quarter of 2020 was not materially impacted by the pandemic yet.
As a result of COVID-19, there continues to be limited visibility with regard to future travel demand given changing government policies regarding travel and a lack of harmonizing of testing requirements in Canada and around the world. These restrictions and concerns about travel due to COVID-19 are severely inhibiting demand. Management continues to analyze the extent of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is and continues to be adverse and material. While the full duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be known at this time, in the long-term the GTAA believes that recovery will happen, and the pandemic will not have a material impact on the long-term financial sustainability of the Airport.
The GTAA’s December 31, 2021 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, each for the year ended December 31, 2021, which are available at www.torontopearson.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.