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€2.9m redundancy costs hit Dublin Port Company profits

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Challenging: Eamonn O’Reilly, Dublin Port CEO, said Brexit had made 2019 a tough year. PHOTO: FRANK MC GRATH

Challenging: Eamonn O’Reilly, Dublin Port CEO, said Brexit had made 2019 a tough year. PHOTO: FRANK MC GRATH

Challenging: Eamonn O’Reilly, Dublin Port CEO, said Brexit had made 2019 a tough year. PHOTO: FRANK MC GRATH

Voluntary redundancy costs contributed to pre-tax profits at the Dublin Port Company declining by 6.7pc to €44.6m last year.

According to the 2019 annual report for the Dublin Port Company, it recorded the dip in pre-tax profits as revenues last year increased by 2.4pc to €92.7m from €90.37m.

Last year, volumes going through the port increased marginally to 38.1 million tonnes, representing the fifth consecutive record year at the port.

In 2019, 22.8 million tonnes of goods were imported through the port and 15.28 million tonnes were exported through the facility.

In his report, Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O'Reilly said 2019 "was a challenging year because of Brexit".

He said however that the port's total volumes have grown by 36.1pc over the last seven years "and are now 23.3pc higher than they were in 2007, prior to the economic downturn". 

Mr O'Reilly said the company operating costs increased by 11.2pc, or €4.9m, to €48.5m.

He said the €4.9m costs included €2.9m in redundancy costs concerning a voluntary redundancy scheme put in place towards the end of last year, and a higher depreciation charge of €700,000 to €10.2m.

The report shows that Dublin Port Company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) last year totalled €53.9m.

Mr O'Reilly said in preparation for Brexit, Dublin Port has provided facilities on 10 hectares of port lands for State agencies including Customs and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

"This is a significant loss of scarce lands which we had never envisaged when first developing the masterplan in 2012," he said.

On the impact of coronavirus, Mr O'Reilly said that while Covid-19 "will inevitably have a negative impact on our throughput volumes and consequently on our revenues, Dublin Port remains a key part of national infrastructure and a key node within the transport chain to ensure the continued flow of essential imports and exports".

Last year,  Mr O'Reilly's pay package remained unchanged at €359,000, made up of €185,000 in salary, €161,000 in other benefits and fees of €13,000.

The accounts show that 28 employees at Dublin Port last year earned between €100,000 and €200,000, made up of 16 earning between €100,000 and €125,000; five between €125,000 and €150,000; four between €150,000 and €175,000 and three between €175,000 and €200,000.

Numbers employed by the Dublin Port Company last year totalled 162 and staff costs last year increased to €15.98m from €15.26m.

Pay to key management personnel last year totalled €2.15m.

Dublin Port's shareholder funds at the end of last year totalled €470m that included accumulated profits of €455m. 

The port company's cash funds last year increased to €77.3m from €43.25m.  

The port last year paid dividends of €4.1m to the State and this followed dividends of €12.1m paid in 2018.

Irish Independent