Airspace pre-tax profits up 67%

Pre-tax profits at one of the country’s best known property firms, Airspace Investments, last year rose by 67% to €4.3m.

The company and its subsidiaries were led for many years by well-known developer and Cork native, Ken Rohan before he stepped down in Dec 2009 when his son, Jamie was appointed managing director of the business.

Ken Rohan remains a director and majority shareholder in the group.

Documents just filed with the Companies Office show that Airspace recorded the increase in pre-tax profits in spite of revenues decreasing by 14% from €9.56m to €8.24m.

The group is cash rich with reserves of €19.1m and last year its directors paid a dividend of €1.1m. According to the directors’ report, the results for 2012 “are in line with expectations”.

On the firm’s prospects, the directors state that they “are satisfied the group’s financial strength will enable it to respond to suitable opportunities over the coming years”.

The group’s shareholder funds last year totalled €45.3m.

The figures show post- tax profits were further reduced to €2.53m by a write-down of €418,932 on property.

This compares to a post-tax loss of €10.5m in 2011 after a €12.8m write-down was taken into account.

The group made an operating profit last year of €4.59m but net interest payments of €284,800 reduced the profits to €4.3m.

The directors consider the prolonged slowdown in economic activity and the continuing downturn in the property market as the principal risk factors facing the group.

The directors’ report states: “Following repayment of a bank loan during the year, the group’s net debt/gearing ratio is a conservative 9%. When non-recourse debt is excluded, the group is in a net cash position.

“The strength of the balance sheet is further reflected in the €72m of property assets which have no attributable bank debt.”

The filings state: “On Nov 30, 2012, the group had development land, stocks, and works in progress with a carrying value of €40.6m. The economic environment and in particular the lack of transactional activity in the property market creates a general uncertainty about the carrying value of development land, stocks and work in progress.

“Against this background the directors have considered the carrying value of the group’s development land, stocks, and work in progress and where appropriate have written down these values.”

Last year, the group’s entire income was made up of €8.24m in rental income.


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