Aircraft engine-leasing firm with just 22 staff sees profit hit over €30m

A Shannon-based aircraft engine-leasing firm employing only 22 people made a pre-tax profit of $39.4m (€30.1m) last year.

Accounts filed to the Companies Office show that US-owned Shannon Engine Support Ltd increased its pre-tax profits by 22%, from $32.2m to $39.4m, in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The increase in profits came in spite of revenues dropping at the firm by 13%, from $110.3m to $95.4m. Shannon Engine Support paid a dividend of $28.1m last year.

The directors’ report states that the firm’s profits last year “represents a margin of 41% on its revenues”, and that it was a difficult year for the industry.

“The company has been successful in negotiating lower lease rate on some of its leased in assets and, additionally, there have been cost savings achieved as a result of the impact of falling US dollar interest rates on other leased in assets,” the report states.

The filings show the company’s operating profit rose 5%, from $24.7m to $26m. The profit takes account of $35.6m in non-cash depreciation charge.

Established in 1988 and part-owned by US giant GE, Shannon Engine Support provides support to 140 airlines around the world.

The accounts show that the company’s profits were boosted by an exceptional item of an $11.1m profit made from the sale of fixed assets. This followed a profit of $6.6m on the sale of fixed assets recorded in 2010.

The accounts show that the company had accumulated profits of $463m at the end of December last.

The company had total shareholder funds of $779.9m at the end of last year — this included “other reserves” totalling $308.5m.

The directors said that they expect the general level of activity to continue for the foreseeable future.

They added: “Turn-over for future years will depend on utilisation and lease rates. Utilisation will be determined by airline demand for spare engine capacity. The directors continuously monitor the company’s exposure by measuring utilisation and lease rate levels of the company’s assets and implementing portfolio strategies as required.”

The accounts show that the company’s 22 staff each received, on average, $163,665 in salaries and pensions, with the aggregate pay-out being $3.5m.

Nine staff are engaged in customer support, five in financial, four in marketing, and four in administration.

Directors’ emoluments last year increased from $662,850 to $665,000.

The accounts show that the company’s other direct operating costs last year reduced from $36m to $27.9m.

Currently, 3,000 aircraft valued at €83bn are leased out of Ireland, with the total annual tax contribution to the exchequer at over €300, and annual expenditure by lessors on Irish professional services and infrastructure at around €135m.

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