July 15, 2014 / 7:05 AM / 3 years ago

UK airports owner MAG upbeat on growth prospects as earnings rise

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said it was confident of delivering strong growth in 2014-15 as increased passenger numbers and cost controls helped lift full-year earnings by 2.8 percent.

MAG, which owns four British airports, said on Tuesday earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the year to March 31 rose to 242 million pounds ($412 million), helped by a 4.3 percent rise in passenger numbers to 43.8 million.

The group said the integration of Stansted, which it bought in February last year, was ahead of plan and that passenger numbers were on a positive trajectory after years of decline as it works to broaden its network and develop a long-haul service.

On an underlying basis Stansted's EBITDA increased by 2 million pounds and in the first full year of ownership was 6 million pounds ahead of MAG's business plan.

"The significant activity at Stansted and across MAG this year will generate continued strong performance and growth in 2014-15 and beyond," Neil Thompson, Chief Financial Officer of MAG, said in a statement.

$1 = 0.5877 British Pounds Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Kate Holton

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