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Shannon Group profits after tax rise to €21.6m despite fewer passengers

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Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport

Post-tax profits at Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport rose by 43pc to €21.6m last year, despite the first reduction in passenger numbers at the airport in six years.

The latest annual report shows turnover rose by 1.7pc to €79.1m at the group which is an umbrella organisation for separate companies including Shannon Airport Authority, Shannon Heritage, Shannon Commercial Properties and the International Aviation Services Centre.

The large increase in profit last year was largely due to the impact of an exceptional charge of €5.8m in relation to a group-wide voluntary severance scheme on the group's accounts in 2018.

Shannon Group chairperson Rose Hynes said the figures represented "a positive result in what was a challenging year for aviation and tourism in the regions".

However, she noted an 8pc decline in passenger numbers to 1.71 million in 2019 was "disappointing". That was the first annual fall-off in numbers at Shannon since 2013 with 150,000 fewer travellers than in 2018.

Ms Hynes attributed the decrease largely to the global grounding of the Boeing 737 Max jet on safety grounds.

She said Shannon Group had redoubled its efforts to secure additional services and had announced three new routes to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Vienna and Barcelona at the end of the year, although their launch had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"However, we are determined to reconnect our airport and the west of Ireland to global destinations as soon as possible," she said.

Shannon Group chief executive, Mary Considine welcomed the decision of Aer Lingus to base two of their new A321LR aircraft at Shannon and said investment in the group's property portfolio had reaped dividends with occupancy rates now at 98pc in the Shannon Free Zone.

Irish Independent