Heathrow Airport has reported a rise in profits for the first nine months of 2016 and claimed increased support for its plans to build a third runway.

The airport saw a 0.7% annual increase in the number of passengers passing through to a record high 57.3 million in the January to September period.

Pre-tax profits climbed 11% to £202m ($248m), while revenue rose 1.2% to £2.09bn.

Heathrow remains the leading site to build a new runway in the south-east of England, with a government decision on the matter expected soon.

The London airport is one of the world's busiest, but it operates at near full capacity.

"Heathrow is firing on all cylinders – a record number of passengers are getting our best service at a better value – and I'm pleased that the prime minister is committed to finally taking a decision on the critical national issue of airport expansion in the coming days," said John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow.

"Heathrow is the right choice to help make Britain stronger and fairer for everyone – that's why there is such broad support across the UK from Newquay to Inverness for our plans – and we stand ready to deliver the runway that will keep Britain a confident, outward looking trading nation as soon as we get the green light from government."

Should the plan be approved, a new 3,500m runway could be built at Heathrow by 2025 at a cost of around £17.6bn.