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Resilient Performance At DAA As Profits And Passenger Numbers Increase

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) delivered a solid performance last year, as profits and passenger numbers increased.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, at home and abroad, it was a year of significant progress and one in which Kevin Toland agreed to be our new Chief Executive,” said DAA Chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin.

Highlights included:

•    Passenger numbers at Dublin and Cork airport up 1.6% –  340,000 extra passengers
•    Dublin Airport long-haul passengers grew by 16%
•    Group operating costs 8% below 2008 levels, when Dublin Airport was operating with only one terminal
•    Net debt reduced by €60 million
•    Shannon separated with no debt, on time and in accordance with Government decision
•    New transatlantic capacity secured for Dublin Airport – 224 flights per week will operate during the peak summer season this year.

Turnover increased by 3% to €575 million last year, while profits excluding exceptional items grew by 66% to €43 million. Profits were boosted by a €13.7 million credit relating to the disposal of a 50% stake in Turckton, which was a former associate company. After exceptional items, Group profit for the financial year declined by 36% to €19 million, due to the impact of a €24 million restructuring charge.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 4% to €167 million in 2012. Costs were 3% higher at €283 million, as rates, energy and water charges had an impact on overall airport operating expenditure and international costs increased. Payroll and related costs fell by 1% to €157 million, as DAA continued to reduce costs within its control. “Costs will remain a key focus for the Group, as we strive to continually deliver an even more efficient service for our customers,” Mr Ó Ríordáin said.

DAA reduced its net debt by 8% to €675 million in 2012 and 85% of that debt matures more than five years from now. “Over the past two years, we have reduced our net debt levels by €90 million, and the Group has a very strong liquidity position,” Mr Ó Ríordáin added.

Passenger numbers climbed by about 1% to 22.8 million at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in 2012. International passenger numbers increased at both Dublin and Cork as domestic air travel continued to decline due to the significantly improved road network and the reduction in State support for domestic air routes.

Dublin Airport was the strongest performer last year with passenger numbers growing by 2% to 19.1 million. “Dublin Airport welcomed 420,000 additional passengers last year, led by long-haul traffic, which was up 16% due to new capacity on routes to the Middle East and to North America,” said DAA Chief Executive, Kevin Toland. About 10.3 million passengers used Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport in 2012, while 8.8 million passengers used the award-winning Terminal 2.

Traffic at Cork Airport declined by 1% to 2.3 million, while passenger numbers at Shannon were down 14% at 1.4 million, due largely to a significant drop in military transit traffic.

The separation of Shannon Airport was completed at the end of last year, in line with the Government’s strategic decision on its future. “We wish the Shannon Airport Authority every success for the future and thank its wonderful staff for their many years of loyal service to DAA and to its predecessor Aer Rianta,” Mr Ó Ríordáin said.

The overseas arm of DAA’s retail business ARI had another positive year, generating profits of just over €27m in 2012. ARI saw good sales growth in the Middle East and in India, where annual sales as its Delhi Duty Free passed $100 million for the first time.

ARI opened its first Chinese stores during 2012 and has recently been selected as the preferred bidder for the duty free business at Mumbai’s new Terminal 2. “The addition of Mumbai means that ARI will be operating the key duty free outlets at India’s two main international gateways and gives us a very strong position in one of the most important growth markets in the world,” Mr Toland said.

The first three months of 2013 have seen additional overall passenger growth at DAA’s two airports, boosted by a continued strong performance at Dublin Airport. “Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport were up 4% in the first three months of 2013, helped in part by an earlier Easter this year,” Mr Toland said. “We are cautiously optimistic about continued passenger growth for 2013, but acknowledge that economic conditions remain fragile.”

Dublin Airport will welcome eight new services this year from airlines including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, American Airlines, and Norwegian. There will also be additional capacity on about 30 existing services, offering customers more choice and flexibility. Fifty-five airlines operated to almost 170 destinations from Dublin Airport last year.

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