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Swissport has acquired the remaining 50% stake in Heathrow Cargo Handling (HCH), taking its shareholding to 100%.

The Swiss handler has run the company since 1995 in a joint-venture with Air France.

In the year ending 30 September 2018, HCH had a turnover of £18m, up from £15.9m a year earlier, giving it an operating profit of £2.2m, up from £1.1m a year earlier.

The company said revenue had increased owing to larger volumes carried by airlines, mainly on imports, which led to higher yields.

Last year, the HCH joint-venture, which has a 120-strong team, handled more than 150,000 tons of air cargo, up 7% on the previous year.

“We are very satisfied that we can strategically round off our global cargo business with this selective acquisition,“ said Luzius Wirth, Swissport executive vice president Europe. Swissport now has the right set-up to further develop and enhance its service offering at London‘s Heathrow airport.”

At Heathrow, Swissport operates two warehouses totalling some 165,000 sq and said the acquisition would allow it to invest further in its air cargo operations and service capabilities.

The acquisition is subject to Competition and Markets Authority approval, which is expected by the summer.

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