Irish Aviation Authority's profits soar by 45pc to €21.3m
THE Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) last year recorded "a very strong" financial performance, with pre-tax profits increasing by 45pc to €21.34m.
In its 2013 annual report, the state agency responsible for Dublin and Cork airports said it enjoyed a sharp increase in profits in spite of revenues dropping marginally from €175m to €173.5m.
IAA chief executive Eamonn Brennan said that the authority's financial performance in 2013 was "very strong".
The figures show that the IAA's operating profit of €25.7m was 12pc up on the €22.85m recorded in 2012.
The report shows that the overall remuneration for Mr Brennan last year totalled €352,000, from a basic salary of €232,000 plus pension contributions of €79,000 and taxable benefits of €41,000.
Mr Brennan's total remun- eration was marginally down on the €357,000 he received in 2012. A note attached to the accounts states that Mr Brennan has voluntarily waived 10pc of his salary in each year from 2009 to 2013 and has waived his board fees since 2011.
The report states that the IAA has paid no bonuses to Mr Brennan since 2010.
Staff across the IAA are well paid, with salary costs for its 677 staff – including 18 students – totalling €60.29m or on average €89,054 each.
At the end of December last, the IAA had 437 in operations, 73 in technology and training, 93 in safety regulation and 56 in finance, corporate affairs and other areas. The 659 employees – not including the 18 students – is down from the 679 employed at the end of 2012.
The report reveals that in a post balance sheet event, the IAA board at a meeting on March 24 proposed the payment of a dividend for 2013 of €4.8m to Government.
Mr Brennan said that the IAA's operating expenses decreased by 2.8pc to €147.9m "mainly reflecting the continued efforts of the IAA to reduce its operating costs".
The IAA's net defined pension liability stood at €113.8m last December and according to Mr Brennan, "this represented an improvement of €13.5m when compared with 2012".
He said: "The positive aspects of this improvement include better than expected returns on pension fund assets as well as additional pension contributions by the employer in keeping with the existing pension agreement."
Mr Brennan added: "An approved funding proposal is in place which aims to return the fund to solvency by December 31, 2018. The terms of this proposal provide for significant additional cash contributions by the employer as well as pensionable pay frees/pay caps provisions and increases in employee contributions".
The annual report states that the IAA generated €21.4m in revenues from providing terminal navigation to Cork, Shannon and Dublin airports, while the IAA generated €16m in safety regulation.
During last year, the number of flights managed on the North Atlantic by the IAA increased by 1pc to 405,000.