Heathrow today projected that 2017 earnings will be down on this year.

EBITDA next year is forecast to be £1.660 billion, marginally lower than the projected 2016 result of £1.665 billion.

“This reflects broadly flat revenues and operating costs versus 2016,” the airport said in an investor report published today.

This year’s result was up 3.7% on 2015, mainly driven by moderate traffic growth, strong momentum in retail income and significant cost efficiencies, according to the London hub.

“On the revenue line, further significant growth in retail income is expected to offset a reduction in aeronautical revenue due to a decreasing tariff in 2017 and a forecast slight reduction in traffic partially reflecting the loss of 2016’s leap year day,” Heathrow said.

Traffic rose by 0.7% this year to 69.5 million passengers in the 11 months to November, with the leap year contributing 0.3% of the growth.

The airport said that the government decision in October to back a third runway will bring new jobs and economic growth to every nation and region of the UK.

“A third runway will bring huge benefits to everyone in Britain, with forecasts that it will create up to £211 billion of growth across the country,” the report said.

“As the UK charts a new course outside the EU, it will enable up to 40 new long-haul trading routes and support Britain’s exporters to reach the fastest growing markets in the world.

“To give Britain a ‘Brexit boost’ and unlock jobs and growth across the country sooner, Heathrow will consult on plans to bring in 25,000 extra flights per year from 2021.”