Aircoach upbeat despite drop in airport numbers
Aircoach, the bus service serving Dublin Airport, has said it hopes to remain profitable despite a plunge in the number of passengers using the airport.
Turnover at the company rose 13pc in the year to March 2009.
The profit and loss account for the firm behind Aircoach, Last Passive Ltd, shows turnover rising to €18.6m from €16.4m.
But operating profit slipped to €1.3m from €2.1m.
The company's directors said higher labour costs, rental charges and rising fuel expenses combined to reduce profit margins, although it has undertaken steps to arrest this.
"While the reduction in passenger traffic through Dublin Airport will have an adverse effect on the business, the directors are of the view that the company will remain profitable,'' said a statement included with the accounts.
The firm, which is ultimately owned by Scottish bus group Firstgroup Plc, is "ideally placed'' to benefit from any liberalisation of the sector, said the director's statement.
The P&L of the company shows the cost of sales rising from €12.4m to €15.3m in the period, which eroded the gains made in the revenue line.
The business, however, has had several good years since being acquired from entrepreneur John O'Sullivan. The accounts show shareholders' funds of €6.5m, up from €5.1m in the previous year.
The accounts disclose that employee numbers have risen to 213 from 185 the previous year.
The company has added a large number of new drivers, for example, and total employment costs were up to €7.5m from €6.7m.
The firm has a large number of buses on lease agreements which stretch over the next five years.
It has also entered into a lease agreement at Airport Business Park in Dublin.