TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (the "GTAA") today reported its financial and operating results for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2016. Passenger activity grew substantially at 10.3 per cent during the third quarter of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015. This was the strongest percentage growth since 2005 reflecting increased capacity of aircraft and new routes, the economic strength of the Greater Toronto Region, and the role of Toronto Pearson International Airport as Canada's largest airport and North America's second busiest airport in terms of international passengers. "Toronto Pearson's continued strength as a connecting airport with global reach to a large portion of the world's economic centres facilitates more opportunities for trade and tourism in our region and the rest of Canada," said Howard Eng, President and CEO, GTAA. "Future investments in the growth of this airport - transit connections, improvements to security screening and to customs and immigration processes - will enable Toronto Pearson to thrive as the anchor of one of Canada's most significant employment centres." A total of 13.0 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson International Airport during the three-month period ended September 30, 2016. During the third quarter of 2016, passenger activity in the international sector increased by 842,000 passengers reflecting 12.0 per cent growth and the domestic sector increased by 392,000 passengers reflecting 7.9 per cent growth over the same period in 2015. The passenger volume growth of the third quarter of 2016 is unprecedented and has not been experienced since 2004, which coincided with the opening of the first phase of Terminal 1 in that year. The third quarter of 2016 is the second highest quarterly growth in terms of total number of passengers and international passengers, second only to the second quarter of 2004. A total of 33.8 million passengers travelled through the Airport in the first nine months of 2016, representing an increase of 7.6 per cent, as compared to the same period in 2015. For the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2016, the GTAA reported total revenues of $351.1 million and $969.3 million, representing increases of $25.8 million and $66.6 million from the same periods in 2015, respectively. The continued growth in revenues was a reflection of strong third quarter passenger growth and increases in non-aeronautical revenues. During the third quarter and first nine months of 2016, the GTAA's non-aeronautical revenues increased $9.6 million and $20.5 million compared to the same period last year, respectively. The increases in both periods were due to the high passenger growth during 2016, the opening of 25 new retail stores, restaurant, and beverage establishments in the last 12 months and increases in parking and ground transportation revenues. Total operating expenses reported during the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2016 for the GTAA were $212.1 million and $632.3 million, representing increases of $19.5 million and $64.5 million from the same periods in 2015, respectively. During these periods, the GTAA incurred higher expenditures related to its investments in operational excellence and improving the customer experience during the 2016 third quarter's peak season. These expenditures were offset by lower utilities and energy costs. In addition, the expenditures for the first nine months of 2016 included costs related to the Deicing Operations, which were brought in-house by the GTAA in July 2015. Earnings before interest and financing costs during the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2016 were $139.0 million and $337.0 million, representing increases of 4.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent from the same periods in 2015, respectively. Excluding the 2015 one-time accounting adjustments, adjusted earnings before interest and financing costs increased 6.0 per cent and 4.5 per cent for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2016, from the same periods in 2015, respectively. The GTAA recorded net income of $53.7 million for the third quarter and $80.7 million for the first nine months of 2016, compared to $44.3 million and $65.1 million in the comparable 2015 periods, respectively. The GTAA's September 30, 2016 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA's Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis, each for the three- and nine- months ended September 30, 2016, which are available at www.torontopearson.com and on the Canadian Securities Administrators' website at www.sedar.com. The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport.