Dublin Port to pay €10m dividend to Exchequer for 2011
Dublin Port will pay a more than €10m dividend to the Exchequer in June in respect of its 2011 financial year, according to the semi-state company.
The payment comes as Dublin Port's after-tax profit jumped 36pc last year to €28m from €20.5m in 2010.
The €10.2m dividend represents more than a third -- 36.5pc -- of the after-tax profits generated by the company in 2011.
Commercial semi-state companies are squeezed by the Government to pay at least 30pc of their after-tax profits in the form of a dividend.
The latest payment will bring to nearly €47m the amount paid by Dublin Port in dividends in the past six years.
In 2008 the company had anticipated that it would pay a total of €32.6m between 2008 and 2012.
Last year it paid a regular €6.5m dividend in respect of its 2010 financial year. But it also coughed up a €10m special dividend on foot of a request by previous transport minister Noel Dempsey. In 2009, Dublin Port paid a €5.5m dividend.
Lucy McCaffrey, the chairperson of Dublin Port, which held its annual general meeting yesterday, said the company remains committed to investing in the port's infrastructure.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the dividend payment and said that the port requires ongoing investment.
Headed by Eamonn O'Reilly, Dublin Port has just launched a 30-year master plan to significantly upgrade its facilities in order to handle future capacity requirements. The port handles about half of all Ireland's trade.
Future developments will include a dedicated €30m terminal for the growing cruise ship business the port is enjoying, as well as a number of other major modifications.
The total cost of the master plan, if fully implemented, is expected to be in the region of €500m, which will be funded out of Dublin Port's own cash flow.
The expansion will enable the port to deal with an expected doubling of its throughout to 60 million tonnes by 2040. Last year, Dublin Port handled 28.1 million tonnes of freight, virtually unchanged on 2010.