Friday 15 November 2019

Bonus helps high-flying GECAS executives share in €12m pay bonanza

Shannon-based lessor has 100 Airbus A320neo planes on order
Shannon-based lessor has 100 Airbus A320neo planes on order

Gordon Deegan

Twelve high-flying executives at the Irish arm of one of the world's largest aircraft leasing firms last year shared a pay pot of $14m (€11.86m).

The directors of GE Capital Aviation Services Ltd (GECAS), based in Shannon, shared $14m in pay after enjoying an aggregate increase in pay of 44.5pc due mainly to a bonus of $8m (€6.8m) paid out.

The new figures lodged with the Companies Office show pre-tax profits increased 33-fold from $16.4m (€14m) to $557.5m (€472m) last year.

The company achieved the massive rise in pre-tax profits as a result of dividends received from subsidiaries of $510m (€432m). Revenues at the company increased from $232m to $268m (€227m). The directors received on average more than $1.11m (€0.9m) in pay last year.

There are nine Irish directors serving on the board - Michael Deeny, Diarmuid Hogan, Sean Flannery, Seamus Fitzgerald, John Ludden, Virginia Fox, Deirdre Norris, Declan Hartnett and Diarmuid Hyde.

On the back of the increased profits and revenues last year, the aggregate bonus paid out to directors increased by 43pc going from $5.6m to $8m (€6.8m) while they also received $4.2m in salaries; $599,000 in pension payments; and $895,000 and $223,000 in benefits in kind. A subsidiary of US giant, General Electric, GECAS Ltd employs 297 - including directors - and employment costs increased from $57.7m to $67.5m (€57m).

According to the directors' report the return on assets was 13pc compared to 6pc in 2015 and "the increase in the current year was driven by an increase in the management service fees received".

The company last year paid out a dividend of $510m (€433m) to GE Capital Aviation Funding Unlimited.

GECAS - which has a fleet of more than 2,350 owned and managed aircraft - offers a wide range of aircraft types and financing options.

The company has a network of 26 offices globally. In June of this year, GECAS announced a firm order for 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft at the 52nd International Paris Air Show. The aircraft are to be delivered between 2020 and 2024. At the end of last year, the company had commitments to purchase aircraft totalling $34bn (€29bn).

At year end, the firm had accumulated profits of $84.3m with shareholder funds totalling $2.93bn (€2.5bn).

The company's income arises from the leasing of engines under operating leases, aircraft under finance leases and from the provision of management services. The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of $3.3m. The firm's lease payments concerning land, buildings and vehicles stood at $3.2m (€2.7m) in 2016.

All of the company's income derives from activities in Ireland. The company - established in the Shannon Free Zone in 1993 - is located in 70,000 sq ft office premises at the €200m Westpark business campus in the Shannon Free Zone.

Ireland is home to nine of the world's 10-largest aircraft leasing firms and some of the other big players based here include SMBC, Pembroke Capital, Awas Capital, and Avolon.

There are currently more than 4,000 aircraft under Irish management here and together Irish-based lessors account for more than $120bn (€101bn) in aircraft assets.

Irish Independent

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