NCT firm directors 'strongly refute' proposed penalties, company records loss of €981k in 2022

Nct Firm Directors 'Strongly Refute' Proposed Penalties, Company Records Loss Of €981K In 2022
The directors of the firm operating the National Car Test (NCT) contract “strongly refute” proposed non-compliance penalties by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) on the firm.
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Gordon Deegan

The directors of the firm operating the National Car Test (NCT) contract “strongly refute” proposed non-compliance penalties by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) on the firm.

That is according to new accounts for Applus Inspection Services Ireland Ltd which show that the firm last year recorded a pre-tax loss of €981,010 in 2022 after a pre-tax profit of €1.099 million in 2021 - a negative swing of €2.08m.


This followed revenues at the Spanish owned company declining by €3 million or 4 per cent from €82.39 million to €79.32 million last year.

The operation of the contract has been the source of controversy in recent months with Minister for State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers only saying last week that delays for motorists in getting mandatory NCT for their vehicles are “absolutely unacceptable”.

The Fianna Fáil TD said: “I think Applus need to pay serious penalties for this dysfunction and the non-performance of their contract.”

In their report, the directors state that they “acknowledge that the Road Safety Authority has proposed penalties for non-compliance of contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA) achievement”.


They state that “given the negative impact that Covid-19 has had on the service in 2022 and continue to have, we strongly refute these penalty claims as being valid”.

They add that “we continue to work closely and constructively with the authority to address the underlying issues that the service is experiencing as a result of the pandemic”.

The accounts were lodged in recent days at the Companies Office and signed off by board members on March 31st.

Minister Chambers' comments on RTÉ radio last week followed a more upbeat assessment in a written Dáil reply 13 days earlier where he said that there has been considerable progress in addressing the long-term staffing issues which have caused the NCT backlog and in increasing capacity at test centres, “including the temporary transfer of testers from the NCTS contractor’s Spanish operation last year, increased staff overtime and extensive recruitment of new vehicle inspectors”.


He said: "There are currently 582 testers in place, with 34 more testers commencing training this week and a further 21 expected in the coming weeks. New testers are being assigned to the test centres with the most significant delays.”

He said that the average waiting period nationally was then just over 24 days, with some centres outside Dublin and Cork having significantly reduced wait times and the RSA is confident that a return to the service level agreement waiting period of 12 days will be achieved by July 2023”.

NCT statistics show that last year, the total number of tests amounted to 1.395 million and the total number of failed tests amounted to 637,539.

The NCT fee for a full test is €55 and a re-test costs €28.


The 10-year NCT contract operated by Spanish-based Applus concluded in June 2020 and the firm successfully re-tendered for a new 10-year contract.

The company last year recorded an operating loss of €540,596 before net interest payments of €440,414 are taken into account.

The operating profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €4.55 million.

The firm’s revenues last year consisted of €73.7m in NCT revenues, €5.45m in VRT Import Conformance Inspection income and ancillary income of €169,857.

Numbers employed declined from 824 to 812 as staff costs dipped marginally to €37 million.

Directors’ pay last year totalled €189,065 made up of emoluments of €165,687 and €23,378.

The firm’s shareholder funds last year totalled €4.3 million that included cash funds of €777,257.

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