The operator of Ireland West Airport Knock last year enjoyed a pre-tax profit of €2.075 million after the airport generated record revenues of €17.93 million.
New accounts for Connaught Airport Development Co Ltd show that the airport made a strong post Covid-19 pandemic recovery as passenger numbers increased by 314 per cent to 721,894 in 2022.
The sharp increase in passengers resulted in revenues increasing more than four-fold from €3.89 million to €17.93 million.
The pre-tax profit of €2.07 million followed pre-tax Covid-19 related losses of €179,876 in 2021.
The directors are forecasting that passenger numbers for 2023 will continue to recover and achieve numbers close to 850,000 for this year.
The directors state that the airport was pleased to see "a strong performance" in revenue terms with a turnover of €17.9 million "as a result of all of its main commercial income streams performing strongly".
They state: "However cost containment measures have proven to be very challenging with significant increases in fuel, electricity, energy, insurance and other utility costs, combined with continued upward inflationary pressures and wage cost increases.”
The directors state that the 2022 passenger numbers represent 89 per cent of pre-Covid passenger numbers while the €17.93m revenues for 2022 surpass by 20pc the revenues of €14.9 million in the record 2019 year for the business.
The directors state that the strong 2022 performance was as a result of Ryanair reinstating all of its pre-Covid capacity and air services to the UK and Europe and further increasing the available seat capacity to popular UK and European destinations by 16pc compared to 2019.
Aer Lingus also returned on its daily London Gatwick service which was very positive, according to the directors.
The report states that in a major development for the airport and the wider region, Aer Lingus commenced a new daily service to London Heathrow in March of this year.
The directors state that this service "will provide a major boost for the airport and the region as it is the first time in the airports 37-year history that they will have access to one of Europe’s major international airport hubs”.
The directors also state that the airport will continue its plan to maintain and improve critical safety and security infrastructure and plans to invest close to €8 million in 2023.
On the risks facing the airport, the directors note the reliance on a limited number of airlines for the passenger traffic in the current economic climate.
The company’s pre-tax profit also takes account of non-cash depreciation and impairment costs of €3.14 million.
The profit also includes other operating income of €4.18 million that is made up of Government grant funding of €1.78 million under the Regional Airport Programme, capital grants of €2.05 million and €335,611 under the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).
Numbers employed by the airport firm last year increased from 58 to 124 as staff costs more than doubled from €2.87 million to €5.75 million. Directors’ pay totalled €216,321 made up of remuneration of €180,571 and pension contributions of €35,750.
A breakdown of the firm’s revenues show that it recorded aeronautical revenues of €9 million, commercial revenues of €8.86 million and ‘other sales’ of €59,194.
At the end of last year, the airport firm had shareholder funds of €10 million that included accumulated profits of €6.17 million. The company’s cash funds rose from €8.8 million to €9.69 million.