Sunday 19 November 2017

Profits soar as Knock Airport has record year

Ireland West Airport Knock
Ireland West Airport Knock

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at the company that operates Ireland West Airport Knock last year increased more than fivefold to €642,788.

In a record-breaking year the airport's passenger numbers increased by 7pc or 48,000 to 733,869 as revenues increased by 3pc to €12.6m.

This allowed the company's pre-tax profits to increase by 473pc from €112,161 to €642,788.

An investment by seven local authorities of €7.3m to take 17.5pc in equity in the airport company was finalised last year and places a value of €41.7m on the airport firm.

The directors state that the growth in passenger numbers last year was fuelled by the commencement of new services to Birmingham and Edinburgh with Flybe, to Costa Dorada and the arrival of the first ever charter service from Boston with Aer Lingus.

The directors state that the airport continued to benefit from the development of the Wild Atlantic Way and the airport's location at its centre.

The directors state that in total the airport now reaches 22 international destinations - 16 of which are scheduled services.

The airport last year celebrated its 30th anniversary and the directors state that the airport company would have recorded a pre-tax loss of €324,977 but for the funding received from the Department of Transport.

The directors point out that the airport continues to pursue its balanced brand strategy in regard to its airport and despite continued volatility in the aviation sector, the airport has three mainline carriers providing international connectivity to the west of Ireland.

The airport is forecasting close to 750,000 passengers during 2017 which would be a 2pc increase on 2016.

The directors' report states: "Uncertainty remains in regards to Brexit, potential economic slowdown in our main markets, airline strategic actions and fuel prices.

"Despite these, the airport continues to see positive trends as improving load factors continued for the first quarter of 2017 and at this point, the airport is confident it will achieve the 2017 passenger forecast."

Numbers employed by the airport last year increased from 117 to 130 with staff costs increasing from €4.9m to €5.32m.

The directors state that the airport is continuing its pursuit of an airline partner to establish seasonal US services and is pursuing opportunities with the recent market entrants, Norwegian and WOW air.

Shareholder funds total €2.96m. The company's cash pile increased threefold to €4.7m. The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation of €1.72m. Directors' remuneration decreased to €167,999.

Irish Independent

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