Business Irish

Sunday 22 July 2018

Datalex's profits up on airline business

Aidan Brogan, CEO of Datalex
Aidan Brogan, CEO of Datalex
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Profits at Irish travel software firm Datalex jumped 31pc to $7.1m (€5.7m) last year as the firm benefited from increased business from airlines around the world.

Revenue at the firm in which billionaire financier Dermot Desmond is a major shareholder, was 15pc higher at $64m (€51.8m). Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) - Datalex's most important financial metric - was 16pc higher at $14.2m (€11.4m).

Datalex's clients include airlines such as Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, JetBlue and Virgin Australia. Mr Desmond owns 26.7pc of Datalex, which yesterday had a market capitalisation of almost €214m.

The company's annual report also shows that total executive pay last year soared to $1.7m from just under $1.3m in 2016.

CEO Aidan Brogan earned a total of $620,000 (€502,000) in 2017 compared to $532,000 in 2016.

Last year's figure included a basic salary of $366,000 and a $210,000 bonus.

But finance director David Kennedy fared better, when he gained $413,000 after the exercise of share options.

That lifted his total 2017 remuneration to $767,000.

Datalex's software platforms help airlines to boost buying opportunities for flyers, enabling the carriers to increase their ancillary revenue.

Datalex said that last year it accelerated its investment in cloud-based digital commerce, as well as new innovations in dynamic pricing driven by artificial intelligence, digital payments and loyalty commerce.

Mr Brogan said that 2017 also saw Datalex progress its deployment programme at Lufthansa. That solution is expected to go live in the second half of 2018.

"This will help drive significant growth in our platform revenue and Adjusted ebitda in 2019 and 2020," he said.

Among the company's priorities for 2018 are to leverage partnership and growth potential in the fast-growing Chinese market, according to Datalex's annual report, which was also published yesterday.

The company is also pursuing more opportunities in relation to loyalty commerce. Last year, it said it reached an agreement with a "leading loyalty coalition network" to deliver a loyalty commerce platform.

"While many of our airline customers currently use components of our loyalty and redemption capabilities, this is our first significant diversification into the loyalty sector," noted the company.

"We believe this is a significant market opportunity for Datalex in the coming years."

Datalex chairman Paschal Taggart, who owns 3.2pc of Datalex, said that the market opportunity for the company is "greater than ever".

Irish Independent

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