Costs, not covid behind Dublin Port Company’s 2021 profit slump

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Higher costs, rather than Brexit or Covid, were behind a sharp drop in profits for the Dublin Port Company last year.

retax profits fell 24.5%, or 9.73 million euros, to 29.95 million euros, according to the company’s annual report. During this time, costs increased by 16.8 pc, or 7.2 million euros.

Salary costs increased by 5% to 13.6 million euros, while non-salary costs increased by 6.6 million euros to 36.8 million euros – mainly due to amortization charges higher of €2.9 million and higher tariff charges of €3.7 million after the expiration of a 2020 rate waiver.

Despite the double challenge of Brexit and Covid-19, revenues fell by only 1pc, from €86.59m to €85.76m.

Brexit has seen freight volumes on UK routes fall by a fifth in 2021, although direct routes to Europe have increased by around 50%.

Throughput fell 5.2% from 2020 to 34.9 million tonnes, according to the annual report. Exports fell 9.4% to 13.7 million tonnes, while imports fell 2.3% to 21.2 million tonnes.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the port business amounted to 48.8 million euros, compared to 53.9 million euros in 2020.

Dublin Port Company chairman Jerry Grant said “the strong throughput performance has been matched by a strong financial performance”.

“As expected, 2021 has proven to be a very difficult year for Dublin Port Company,” Mr Grant said.

Chief Executive Eamonn O’Reilly said the Port of Dublin
expects “strong growth – in volumes and EBITDA – with continued capital investment in port infrastructure”.

Capital investments amounted to €59.1m in 2020 and €71.6m in 2021, with a budgeted investment for 2022 of €83.3m.

Mr O’Reilly – who will step down in August after 12 years as CEO – said the port expects ‘to see volumes start to rise again in 2022 and surpass the all-time high of 2019, possibly as soon as 2023″.

He indicated that border controls by State services are working very effectively, insofar as the company is asking for the return of at least half of the 14.6 hectares of port land ceded to facilitate port operations. border inspection.

“This is a critical challenge if we are to mitigate the already emerging capacity pinch points,” he said.

Last year, Dublin Port recorded 845,236 ferry passengers, up from 1.9 million in 2019. There were no cruise calls at Dublin Port in 2021. There was one in 2020 and 158 in 2019.

Mr O’Reilly’s salary package last year remained unchanged at €259,000 – €185,000 salary, fees of €13,000 plus pension and taxable benefits of €61,000.

The number of people earning over €100,000 at Dublin Port last year increased from 42 to 56 – Four people earned between €175,000 and €200,000, four earned between €150,000 and €175,000, 18 earned between €125,000 and €150,000 and 30 earned between €100,000 and €125,000.

Last year, the number of employees at the Dublin Port Company increased from 154 to 156 and personnel costs rose from 16.14 to 17.5 million euros. The remuneration of the main executives amounted last year to 2.15 million euros.

Dublin Port’s equity at the end of last year was €535 million, including cumulative profits of €520.4 million.

The port company’s cash flow increased from €160.13 million to €123.9 million last year. No dividend was paid.

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