Wage hikes and expansion blamed as Aircoach profits fall
Inflationary wage pressures and the recruitment of new drivers contributed to pre-tax profits at private coach operator Aircoach falling by 24pc to €4.7m last year.
But Last Passive Ltd's revenues rose by 5.6pc, from €25.18m to €26.59m, in the 12 months to the end of March last. The directors said an increase in inter-urban route services drove the increase in revenues and passenger numbers. Its services include a high frequency city centre to Dublin Airport route. Towards the end of the year, the company added new vehicles to the company's Belfast route.
On the drop in profits, the directors said "driver costs rose significantly, partly due to inflationary wage pressure but principally due to the necessity to restore driver numbers to cover additional routes provided".
They said training costs for new drivers were higher than normal throughout the year but this was partially offset by a reduction in staff numbers across other areas.
The company paid a dividend of €3.8m to its UK parent FirstGroup plc last year after paying a dividend of €6m in 2017.
The directors remain confident that the company's activities will generate a satisfactory result this year. Numbers employed last year rose from 191 to 200 as staff costs rose from €7.9m to €8.8m. Remuneration for directors increased from €220,000 to €277,000.