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daa Annual Results: ARI grows like for like profits by 50% with sales increases of 10% across international locations

Net profits at ARI’s parent copany daa grew by 41% to €40 million last year, with higher passenger numbers, increased commercial income, and a good performance in ARI’s overseas retail operations.

The company’s annual results today show that turnover grew by 13% to €564 million, helped by improved aeronautical revenues and increased commercial revenues in Ireland and overseas.

“daa recorded a solid year of progress in 2014,” said Chief Executive Kevin Toland. “We had the highest year of overall passenger growth since 2007 and our international travel retail business ARI performed strongly in continuing markets.”

The results show that earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation increased by 13% to €182 million in 2014.

However the company said that, when exceptional items are included, after-tax profits for the year declined by 50% to €19 million.

It said this decline was due to the impact of a €21 million exceptional charge, relating in part to a €72 million investment that was made to resolve the long-running pensions-related issue at the company.

The company said significant progress was made during the year on the long-running issues affecting the multi-employer IASS pension scheme.

Referring to the recent acceptance by daa staff of the daa’s new defined contribution scheme, Mr Toland said: “This was a difficult and hugely complex issue to address, but with support and engagement from stakeholders the best outcome that was possible in the circumstances was achieved.”

Dublin Airport passenger numbers increased by 8% to 21.7 million, with growth in all main market sectors.

This amounted to 1.5 million extra passengers, setting new records for long-haul traffic, transatlantic traffic, and transfer business. Long-haul traffic on North American, Gulf and North African routes, was up 14%, while transfer passengers increased by 37% to a new high of 749,000.

Transatlantic numbers grew by 14% to a record 2.1 million – amounting to an increase of 42% over the last four years.

This summer, Dublin Airport will be Europe’s sixth largest airport for transatlantic connectivity, with only the hubs of Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris CDG, Madrid and Frankfurt having more flights to the United States and Canada.

Said Mr Toland: “Dublin Airport is now a significant player in the transatlantic market in Europe with 328 North American flights per week this summer to and from 15 different destinations.

“We believe there is further room to substantially grow this business, which will provide additional connectivity for our customers and increase transfer traffic at Dublin.”

Passenger volumes between Dublin and the UK showed the biggest growth – up 8% to 7.8 million. Continental European numbers grew 5% to 11.1 million, while traffic to the Middle East and North Africa was up 19% to a record 634,000.

Traffic at Cork Airport declined by 5% to 2.1 million, due largely to a number of its central European routes being transferred to Shannon Airport. The company said stabilising passenger numbers at Cork and returning to growth there is a major focus for daa.

Total retail sales at Dublin and Cork airports increased by 6% to €227 million last year, as average passenger spends were maintained, despite the impact of a major upgrade of the retail area at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1.

daa continued to reduce its debt levels during the year, with net debt down by €14 million to €600 million. Since 2010, the company has reduced its debt by €164 million.

Company operating costs increased by 13% to €282 million – due in the main to the impact of an overseas acquisition. Costs at daa’s Irish airports increased by 4%, while combined passenger numbers at Dublin and Cork were up 6% to 23.9 million.

ARI had a good performance in 2014, with sales at continuing locations increasing by 10%. Profits at ARI’s overseas arm declined from €29 million to €18 million year-on-year, as the business had benefitted in 2013 from the one-off impact of the sale of its operations in Russia and the Ukraine.

Like-for-like profits at ARI’s international locations increased by 50% to €18 million last year.

daa noted “a strong start” to 2015 in passenger terms, with overall numbers up 15% so far this year. Traffic to date at Dublin has increased by 17% to 6 million, while volumes at Cork have declined by 5% to 490,000.

daa 2014 Annual Report

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