Tuesday 20 February 2018

Profits at firm hit by rescue tragedy jump 17pc to €4m

A Coast Guard helicopter takes off at Blacksod Pier. Photo: Steve Humphreys
A Coast Guard helicopter takes off at Blacksod Pier. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at the search-and-rescue firm that employed the four crew members on the Rescue 116 Sikorsky helicopter last year increased by 17pc to €4m.

That is according to accounts recently filed by CHC Ireland Ltd, which operates the €500m State contract to provide helicopter search-and-rescue (SAR) services.

Last month, personnel at the firm were plunged into grief following the crashing of Rescue 116 off the Co Mayo coast with the loss of four staff members.

The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy have been recovered, while the search operation for missing colleagues winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciarán Smith continues.

The new accounts filed with the Companies Office show that revenues at the firm increased marginally from €52m to €53.8m in the 12 months to the end of April last.

A quarterly purchase order for the first three months of this year show that CHC's Irish firms received a drawdown of fees totalling €14.5m (inc VAT) from the Department of Transport and Sport as part of the €500m State contract.

Separate quarterly purchase orders for 2016 show that CHC's Irish firms received fees of €59m (inc VAT) from the department between January and December 2016. The directors' report for CHC Ireland Ltd states that the company's flying hours for SAR operations increased in the year to 3,355 from 3,331 in the previous year.

The directors state that the profit for the year was realised following the completion of the transition to new S92 aircraft.

The directors added that the company derived a large percentage of its revenues from the provision of SAR services.

CHC Ireland Ltd provides the SAR service from its four main bases at Dublin, Sligo, Shannon and Waterford for the State, and commenced a 10-year €500m contract with the Government in 2012. The current contract with Canadian-owned CHC has the option to extend for a further three years on a year-by-year basis.

Irish Independent

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