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BAA posts loss as passenger numbers fall

BAA saw a 10% fall in passengers at its London airports to 24.8 million in the first quarter - nearly three million fewer than a year earlier - due to the impact of recession and the worst snowfall for 18 years. In combination with other factors this lead to the company recording pre-tax losses of £316.5 million.The losses came despite turnover increasing by 15.5 per cent to £522m in the three months to March 31.

Both Gatwick and Stansted, both commonly used for discretionary holiday travel, had 14.6% fewer passengers than during the same period in 2008.

Heathrow was more “resilient”, BAA said, with numbers down 7.6%.

Depreciation in value of Terminal 5 was partly responsibly for the losses.

The full cost of the companies debt was revealed as the Spanish-owned UK airports operator said its interest payments had soared to £327 million in the first quarter. It is weighed down by a £9.6 billion debt mountain.