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Press Releases 2008

Transformation of Dublin Airport on Schedule as DAA Announces Improved Financial Performance

April 14 2008

Construction of Dublin Airport’s new passenger terminal (T2) is on schedule for completion before the end of 2009 and passengers will begin to use the new facility in 24 months time, according to the Chairman of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Gary McGann.

Following the timely and cost-effective delivery of the new Pier D boarding gates and the Area 14 check-in facility during 2007, he said the DAA was determined to open T2 on time and on schedule and to meet its objective of transforming the passenger experience at Dublin Airport, as quickly as possible.

Mr McGann was speaking in Dublin today (April 14) at the publication of the DAA’s financial performance for 2007. The Group announced profits from normal trading activities of €109m for the year ending December 31, 2007, an increase of 56% on equivalent profits of €69.5m the previous year.

Profits for the year after exceptional items amounted to €348m.  The exceptional items, with a combined net value of €239m, comprised principally the profit on the disposal of the Group’s shareholding in Birmingham Airport and a small adjustment of €1.5m in respect of the prior year exceptional items.

Mr McGann also announced that the Board of the DAA had agreed to accept the recommendations of the Cassells Report to resolve outstanding financial issues pertinent to the possible separation of Cork Airport.

“The agreement of the boards of both the Dublin and Cork Airport Authorities represents a very important step in the separation process. The Cassells recommendations will now be incorporated in the airport business plans for evaluation by Government and the DAA will await the final decision by Government as to whether the separation process can be effected.

Referring to the DAA’s financial performance last year, Mr McGann said the growth in headline profitability was very welcome but reflected to a significant degree, the highly-successful, once-off realisation of the Group’s 24% stake in Birmingham Airport.

“While the proceeds from that asset disposal left the Group with a modest net cash position at the end of 2007, the first such surplus in 20 years, the acceleration of the Transformation Programme at Dublin Airport requires the DAA to source substantial debt capital to part fund that €2bn programme.

“The Group’s net borrowing position is expected to rise to approximately €300m in 2008 and to levels in excess of €1bn post 2010. In this context, the DAA must continue to increase its underlying profits and cash flows to support the required level of borrowings.” he added.

Total passenger numbers through Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports exceeded the 30m level for the first time during 2007, rising by 8% to 30.1m.

Passenger traffic at Dublin Airport continued to grow strongly last year, the 16th consecutive year of higher volumes. The 10% increase in Dublin Airport’s passenger numbers to 23.2m leaves Dublin as currently the 8th busiest airport in Europe, and the 14th busiest in the world in terms of international passengers.

Shannon Airport recorded a 6% increase in terminal passengers last year bringing to a record 3.2m, the number of passengers who either began or ended their journey at the Airport. Overall passenger volumes at just over 3.6m were in line with the previous year, a creditable performance in the context of a challenging business environment at Shannon.

The first full year of operations at Cork Airport’s new terminal building was marked by a 6% increase in passenger numbers to a record 3.2m.

“The DAA’s key focus in terms of transforming the passenger experience is now at Dublin Airport,” said DAA Chief Executive, Declan Collier. Delivery of Pier D has laid down a clear marker as to the quality of passenger facilities the DAA intends to put in place and very significant progress has already been made towards delivering the centrepiece of the whole Transformation Programme, T2.

 “The recent erection of the first steel supports for the new terminal provides passengers and other airport customers with visual confirmation not only of the rapid progress being made, but also of the position of the new terminal relative to existing facilities,” Mr Collier said.

 “We are also moving ahead with a range of other significant projects to enhance the overall passenger experience at the Airport and close to €450m, or the equivalent of €1.5m per working day, will be invested by the DAA at Dublin Airport during 2008,” he added.

“These include a 7,500 sq m extension to the existing terminal to provide more comfort, space retail and catering choice for passengers en route to Piers A and D; an extension to Pier D to provide more contact stands for fast-turnaround aircraft; close to €100m worth of new aircraft parking areas, taxiways and environmental features on the airfield; and a new multi-storey car park and four-star hotel in close proximity to T2.

“The €2bn Transformation Programme at Dublin Airport incorporates over 120 separate projects in the first pre-2010 stage alone while the next stage, up to 2015, will include many others including a new parallel runway.

Aer Rianta International (ARI), the DAA subsidiary company, which manages the Group’s airport investments and airport retailing activities overseas, enjoyed another very successful year in 2007. ARI’s profit contribution to the Group increased by 73% last year to €29.1m, driven principally by strong economic growth and higher aviation traffic in two of its regional markets, Russia/Ukraine and the Middle East.

 

April 14, 2008

For information:

Vincent Wall  
353 87  6860727 

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