Interim results show operator lost £546m in the half-year at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, despite 13% rise in revenue

Airport operator BAA made a huge loss at its three London airports in the half-year ending 30 June. The loss tripled from £135.3m in the same period a year earlier to £545.7m, despite a 12.8% rise in revenue to £1.16bn.

Passenger numbers at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted were down 7.4% to 55.2 million.

The firm said profit was hit by a £218m charge to plug a pension fund deficit and £38m on accelerated depreciation of terminals to be replaced by the new Terminal 2 in Heathrow.

Heathrow's T5
Heathrow's recently completed Terminal 5

Net debt rose 3.2% during the period, to £9.7bn.

Despite the poor results, BAA is appealing against the Competition Commission's decision to force it to sell Gatwick.