DAA aims for two million transfer passengers
The DAA plans to quadruple transfer traffic at Dublin Airport to two million passengers a year as increased transatlantic connectivity and US customs and border clearance make it an increasingly attractive hub for travellers from the UK and mainland Europe.
The plan was revealed by Dublin Airport Authority chief executive Kevin Toland as the semi-state company reported a 7pc decline to €26m in its core business profit for 2013 as its international unit exited retail operations in Russia and Ukraine.
Turnover at the group fell 5pc to a little less than €501m in 2013. That decline was impacted by the sale of its businesses in Ukraine and Russia. The DAA made an €11m profit on the sale of those units.
In Ireland, its turnover rose 5pc on a like-for-like basis but was down 4.5pc overall.
A little more than €418m of group revenue was generated in Ireland, with €228m of that from fees charged to airlines and €103.5m from retailing and concessions.
It has been helped by an increase in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport, where numbers rose nearly 6pc last year to 20.2 million. In Cork, numbers declined 3.5pc to 2.3 million.
The DAA's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) edged 1pc higher last year to €161m, while operating costs fell 2pc to €250m as costs related to overseas operations were reined in.
Mr Toland said the group would continue to focus on managing costs. Of last year's €250m in costs, €217m related to Irish airports.
Mr Toland was paid a total of €387,739 last year, which included a basic salary of €250,000 and pension contributions and other taxable benefits of €137,739.
The DAA group debt was reduced by 9pc, or €61m last year to €614m. The company has reduced its net debt by €151m since 2010. It paid €58.3m in interest last year.
"Dublin Airport had more than one million extra passengers last year, as all segments of the market expanded," said Mr Toland. "Long-haul traffic was Dublin's best performer last year, with transatlantic passenger numbers up 13pc to a record 1.9 million and traffic to the Middle East also up 13pc, albeit off a much lower base."
Mr Toland also said Dublin Airport handled 548,000 transfer passengers last year. That's 36pc more than it did in 2012. So far this year, the figure is running 30pc ahead of the corresponding period in 2013.
He said he wanted to increase that number to about two million "in the near term".
Overall passenger numbers at Dublin Airport were up 5pc in the first quarter of this year.