€500m contract company makes new loss of €1.8m
A private helicopter company that won the controversial €500m contract for offshore search and rescue services suffered losses of €1.8m last year.
Accounts just filed for CHC Ireland show losses increased at the business last year, the last accounting period before the massive state contract kicks-in in 2012.
Losses were €1.774m in the 12 months to the end of April 2011, according to the accounts, compared to €1.57m a year earlier.
Turnover was down slightly to €23m, according to the documents filed with the Companies Office. Under the new contract the state will pay CHC €50m per year for off-shore rescue work.
CHC Ireland has suffered losses three years in a row.
Directors blamed the 2010 ash cloud and the bad winter of 2010/11 for the increased loss last year.
Ireland has suffered losses three years in a row. The company is the local subsidiary of a Canadian firm which is the biggest of its kind anywhere.
In 2010 it won a €500m, 10-year contract from the Government to operate the search and rescue services in Ireland.
Ireland's own Air Corp was controversially blocked from bidding for the work by the then government.
The Air Corps had indicated to then Transport Minister Noel Dempsey that it could provide the rescue service at lower cost to the state, but Mr Dempsey is understood to have refused to discuss the Air Corps proposals.
In opposition, Fine Gael's Simon Coveney opposed the decision to block the Air Corp from tendering. He is now the minister responsible for off shore rescue. He admitted the 10 year contract is binding.