THE new owner of Bournemouth Airport has said it is on course to create a business worth £1billion after revealing record results.

The Rigby Group saw revenues rise by more than £200million during the year in which it bought the airport.

Rigby Group – the parent company for a portfolio of family-owned businesses – says the results are the best in its 43-year history.

Revenues for continuing operations were up nine per cent to £2.37billion. Pre-tax profits before exceptional items stood at £24.2m, down from £27.9m the year before.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the airports division stood at £7.5m, up 32 per cent year-on-year.

The purchase of Bournemouth Airport was among five merger and acquisition deals for the group in the year ended March 31 2018, making 25 since 2013.

Group chief operating officer Steven Rigby said: “This latest full financial year is another record period for the group.

“We continue to expand and invest across our portfolio of interests. Our aim is to create a £1bn market value diversified group with EBITDA of £100million that will make Rigby Group one of the most successful wholly-owned family businesses the UK has ever produced.

“We are seeing the fruits of the acquisitions we have made over the past few years and there are some strong examples of collaboration and cross-selling driving growth.

“We have also added to our group via acquisitions including Bournemouth Airport and remain interested in further buying opportunities.”

Rigby Group company Regional & City Airports (RCA) owns Coventry, Exeter and Norwich airports, and bought Bournemouth Airport for an undisclosed sum last December.

It also runs Blackpool, City of Derry and Solent Airports under management contracts, as well as XLR Executive Jet Centres at Birmingham, Exeter and Liverpool airports.

During the year in question, RCA handled 2.3million passengers and 215,000 aircraft movements.

At the time of the Bournemouth Airport sale last year, group chairman Sir Peter said: “The acquisition of Bournemouth represents an important landmark in our strategy to create a robust and credible group of regional airport assets and services across the UK.

“Not only does it expand our catchment to include the major regions of the south of England, but also focuses operations on a core market poorly serviced by the major aviation players.”

Steven Rigby said at the time that the airport was “ripe for growth”.

As well as the airport itself, the company owns the 200-acre business park, home to world-leading companies such as Cobham and Curtiss Wright.

The group’s six divisions are technology, airports, hotels, aviation, real estate and finance. It operates 115 companies in 20 countries worldwide, employing more than 8,500 staff.