Annual Report & Accounts

Full reports for the previous ten years

Overview of financial year 2020/21

In July 2021, NATS Holdings Limited (NATS) announced its results for the year ended 31 March 2021.

The loss for the year reflects the impact of Covid-19 on NATS’ revenue and regulatory allowances and the carrying value of its assets.  NATS took action to reduce its cost base to preserve liquidity and to ensure that it is in a sustainable position to support the recovery in aviation.

NATS’ priority has been the health and wellbeing of its workforce while maintaining a safe and resilient service for its customers.  NATS made significant economies, which included a voluntary redundancy programme through which 400 colleagues left the business, but has focused on retaining the skills and capacity necessary to safely support the long term recovery of aviation.

In June 2021, NERL, NATS regulated business, completed a full refinancing of its debt structure.  It secured £1.6bn of funding by issuing £750m of unsecured bonds and agreeing £850m of new unsecured bank facilities.  This enabled the redemption of more expensive secured bonds, in place since 2003, and repayment of existing bank borrowings, including a £380m facility agreed in August 2020 which provided additional liquidity in response to Covid-19.  The refinancing ensures NATS is well placed for a range of recovery outcomes.

The CMA’s July 2020 final decision on the RP3 price control (2020 to 2024) has been overtaken by the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector.  The CAA is to determine a new five-year price control (NR23) starting in 2023, which will include an assessment to determine the level of recovery of NERL’s revenue shortfall across 2020 to 2022.

The London City digital tower entered operational service in January 2021.

Gatwick Airport awarded NATS a 10-year air traffic control and engineering contract from October 2022.

NATS further demonstrated its commitment to sustainable aviation through making its flight efficiency tool, known as 3Di, available across the global industry at no cost.

Financial & operational highlights

For the year ended 31 March 2021

Financial year ended 31 March 2021 2020
Financial highlights:    
Revenue and regulatory allowances – £m 823.0 892.1
(Loss)/profit before tax – £m (37.8) 25.3
Cash (used)/generated from operations – £m (163.0) 217.1
Capital expenditure – £m 78.8 158.5
Net debt1 – £m 435.4 170.7
Gearing2 – (%) 46.7% 29.0%
Dividends3 – £m nil 59.0
Operational highlights:    
Flights handled (millions) 0.66 2.48
Safety: risk-bearing Airprox4 (attributable to NATS) 0 1
Delay seconds per flight (en route delay attributable to NATS for calendar years 2020 and 2019) 1.0 8.4
Airspace efficiency score (3Di)5 23.9 29.0
Headcount 4,227 4,860


  1. Excludes derivative financial instruments.
  2. Ratio of net debt (as defined by NERL’s Licence) to regulatory assets of the economically regulated business.
  3. Paid in financial year.
  4. An Airprox is a situation in which the safety of the aircraft was or may have been compromised in the opinion of a pilot or a controller.
  5. The three-dimensional inefficiency score (3Di) measures the fuel efficiency of flight profiles. NATS has made the 3Di environmental insight tool freely available to aviation stakeholders to use to track their carbon efficiency.

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Ten years of reporting

Below are the last 10 years of our Annual Report & Accounts. More reports can be found in our full Documents library.

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