By Gordon Deegan
Pre-tax profits at the firm that operates the National Car Test (NCT) last year skidded by 16% as fewer tests were carried out.
New accounts show that the Irish arm of the Spanish company, posted €7.58m in profits as revenues dropped 6.4% to €77.8m.
The accounts for Applus Car Testing Service Ltd show the company paid a dividend of €8.3m. It paid out €5.4m in 2016.
But the directors say the number of vehicles tested was ahead of the 10-year business plan and that productivity improved marginally.
The number of tests carried out last year came to 2.05 million, including 1.35m in full tests and 688,336 re-tests.
The number of total tests is 7% down from 2016, when 1.465 million full tests and 759,498 re-tests were carried out.
“Future growth is expected to come from core related vehicle inspection and associated road safety activity,” according to the directors.
The national car test was introduced in 2000 after an EU directive.
Applus secured the 10-year contract in 2009, and started testing at the start of 2010.
Staff numbers at the firm fell to 814 people from 847 in the previous year.
And its staff costs fell to €34m from €34.7m in 2016.
Pay for the firm’s directors totalled €280,952.
A breakdown of the firm’s revenues show that €71.82m was generated from the NCT tests.
It also generated €3.7m from the VRT Import Conformance Inspection, and €2.2m from ancillary revenues.