Buyout target Sydney Airport has seen its loss widened in H1 2021, hit by travel curbs caused by the pandemic.

The airport operator reported a loss after income tax expenses of $69.4m (A$97.4m) in the first six months of this year, versus $38.3m (A$53.6m) a year ago.

Revenues slid 33.2% year-on-year to $243m (A$341.6m), with a drop in both aeronautical and retail revenues.

EBITDA in the first half of this year was $149.5m (A$210.8m), a decline of 29.8% from the previous year.

With the implementation of cost control measures, operating expenses dropped 7.8% to $52.9m (A$74.2m).

Net operating receipts (NOR) stood at $1.2m (A$1.8m), down 98% from the prior year.

Passenger traffic at Sydney Airport dropped 36.4%, with the airport seeing only 6 million passengers in H1 2021.

International passenger traffic reduced by 91% while domestic passenger traffic dropped by 3.1%.

Total passenger traffic in July 2021 was 102,000 passengers down 67.9% compared to the corresponding period.

Sydney Airport had $2.06bn (A$2.9bn) of liquidity as of 30 June 2021.

During the first half of this year, it made a capital investment of $46.5m (A$65.2m) focused on critical projects.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “It was a challenging six months, but we were encouraged to see passenger traffic rebound strongly every time borders were open.

“From January to April, we recovered to 65% of our pre-COVID domestic passengers and in just over two months between late April and June, trans-Tasman traffic recovered to more than 40% of pre-COVID levels.

“We’re optimistic that this trend will repeat itself as the vaccine program gains momentum and we see a sustained easing of restrictions.”

In a recent development, Sydney Airport turned down a revised $16.81bn (A$22.8bn) buyout bid from a group of infrastructure investors, citing that it undervalues the airport operator.