Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Airport Use Rises

LONDON -- A record 117 million passengers passed through BAA PLC's seven British airports last year, a 5.7 percent rise on 1998 following a flat performance in December.

The share price rose slightly after the news but was still well within sight of the 6 1/2 year low at 389 1/2 pence ($6.37) recorded Tuesday, the result of long-term worries about the impact of the abolition of intra-EU duty free shopping last June 30.

BAA's 1999 passenger traffic figures showed 60 million passengers of the 117 million total were making intra-EU journeys where tax-free sales had previously been allowed.

The impact of the end of intra-EU duty free was immediate.

Last November, BAA's first half figures, including just three months under the new regime, showed retail net income at BAA's British airports down 7 percent to pounds 242 million ($396 million).