Monday 22 October 2018

DAA eyes runway financing options as profits hit €61m

Revenue jumped 21pc to €680m last year as Dublin Airport in particular performed well
Revenue jumped 21pc to €680m last year as Dublin Airport in particular performed well
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The DAA, which controls Dublin and Cork Airports, is likely to undertake a "sizeable refinancing" of outstanding debt that could also encompass a plan to secure funding for its new €320m runway, according to chief financial officer Ray Gray.

But the airport group has ruled out selling its 20pc stake in Dusseldorf Airport to help bankroll its significant capital expenditure commitments.

Mr Gray was speaking as the DAA reported profits of €61m for 2015, up 47pc on 2014.

Revenue at the group jumped 21pc to €680m as Dublin in particular benefited from a surge in passenger numbers and retail spending. It handled just over 25 million passengers last year, 15pc more than in 2014. At Cork, passenger traffic declined 3pc, but rose in the final quarter.

DAA chief executive Kevin Toland - a former Glanbia executive - described 2015's performance as strong, but would not say when the semi-state company might start paying a dividend to the State again.

The DAA announced last month that it's to build a new runway that's expected to be operational by 2020. The DAA has not yet decided how that will be financed.

The DAA's financing unit, DAA Finance, currently has one bond in issue, which matures in 2018.

The €550m, 10-year Eurobond (it was originally €600m) was issued in 2008 with a coupon of 6.5872pc.

It was used to help finance the construction of Terminal 2. The DAA had previously accessed the bond market in 2001, with a €250m issue.

Mr Gray said that the airport company "is looking at our financing options".

"We'd look at putting in place a long-term financing structure across the group, rather than putting specific project by project funding (in place)," he said. "We're likely to do a sizeable refinancing in one or more tranches over the course of the next couple of years."

Mr Toland said the DAA had no plans to sell its 20pc stake in Dusseldorf Airport to help pay for capital investment in Dublin.

The German airport handled 22.5 million passengers last year. It's owned by the city of Dusseldorf and private investors. Last year, the airport reported net income of €55m. The DAA's stake in it could be worth more than €250m.

In 2006, the DAA sold its stake in Hamburg Airport, and in 2007 sold its holding in Birmingham Airport. The DAA's global retail arm, ARI, also performed strongly last year.

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