CityJet profits rise by 8% to €23.4m

CITYJET, the Dublin-based airline owned by Air France-KLM, saw its profits rise by 8% last year.

Pretax profits increase to €23.4 million in the year to end March 2007 from €21.7m in the previous financial year, accounts just filed at the Companies Registration Office reveal.

The increase in profits at pretax level was mainly due to a reduced interest bill.

Operating profits fell to €22.3m from €22.5m.

The accounts also reveal that the company’s financial performance was affected to the tune of €1.3m from positive currency movements. In the previous year currency fluctuations cost the company €556,640.

Turnover for the year was up by 8% to €261.1m, reflecting the expansion of its route network in 2007.

The company’s directors said in a note with the accounts: “At the date of this report, an expanded network out of London City Airport, comprising of nine additional routes, was commenced during the financial year to March 2008. During the year to March 2008 the company substantially completed a fleet transition from aircraft type BAE 146-200 to Avro RJ85. It is anticipated that the financial results will be significantly impacted by these events in 2007-2008.”

The company plans to spend €67m buying two Avro jets.

In Ireland, turnover was up to €31.5m from €25.4m, while the expansion out of London City Airport saw revenues rise to €34.3m from €27.9m a year earlier. Turnover from its Europe operations, which are concentrated at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, increased to €195.3m from €188.7m.

The route and fleet expansion led to an increase in the number of people employed by the airline to 612 from 539. The increase pushed up the wages and salary bill for the year to €27.2m from €23.8m.

Remuneration for the company’s five directors rose to €382,129 from €355,675 in the previous year. CityJet’s directors are: Patrick Byrne, the airline’s founder; chief executive Geoffrey Whit; Richard Burrows (the Bank of Ireland governor); Bruno Matheu, and Claude Macalan.

The airline was formed 14 years ago by Mr Byrne who won a franchise from Virgin Atlantic to fly from Dublin to London City Airport. Air France bought the airline in 2000.

CityJet last month upped its flights out of Ireland with the launch of daily flights from Shannon to Paris.

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