The City of Los Angeles entity that operates city airports had 5.9 percent more assets in June 2005 than a year earlier, an audited financial report indicated.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) — the city agency that operates Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and three other city airports — released audited financial results for fiscal year 2004-2005, which ended June 30th, 2005.

Total net LAWA assets were approximately $2.5 billion as of June 30th, an increase of $138.9 million, or 5.9 percent over June 30th, 2004.

Net assets — the amount of LAWA total assets, including buildings, land equipment, cash investments and receivables that exceed LAWA liabilities — serve as the key indicator of LAWA’s strong financial position, airport officials said.

“Our net assets of $2.5 billion are the truest indicator of our financial strength,” LAWA executive director Lydia Kennard said. “This kind of performance shows we can run our business in financially difficult times in a prudent manner which benefits all of our stakeholders.”

In fiscal year 2005, the total number of passengers at LAWA airports increased by about 5.4 percent to 63.8 million.

Airport officials said the increased passenger volumes positively impacted the LAWA financial performance.

Operating revenues increased by more than five percent over fiscal year 2004 to $574 million, fueled by increases in concessions revenues, airport officials said.

Retail spending increased in virtually every category, particularly duty-free sales, which had a 58.2 percent increase, and vehicle parking, which had a 12.1 percent increase.

Revenues from rental cars, luggage carts and food and beverage establishments also increased.

Operating expenses grew 8.5 percent to $499 million, largely due to increases in personnel and contractual services costs, airport officials said.

Salaries also grew as a result of a 7.3 percent increase in the amount of full-time equivalent staff, and contributions to employee retirement and health subsidiary plans increased as well, airport officials said.

“I am pleased that Los Angeles World Airports has been able to grow total net assets in the face of significantly higher security costs and airline industry financial difficulties,” said Alan Rothenberg, president of the city Board of Airport Commissioners.