Aircraft lessor’s 10% fall in profit

Pre-tax profits at a Shannon-based aircraft engine leasing firm fell 10% last year to $45.54m (€36.75m).

Newly-filed accounts for French/US-owned Shannon Engine Support Ltd show the firm’s revenues fell 16% from $124.75m to $104.5m in the year to the end of December, 2013.

The General Electric-part-owned firm last year paid a dividend of $40m, the accounts also show.

The firm employs 24 people. Last year they shared a pay pot including pensions of $3.9m or on average $166,000 each. The pay represented a 56% hike on the average $106,375 paid to each staff member in pay and pension in 2012.

According to the firm’s directors’ report: “Overall turnover decreased by 16% primarily driven by the release of deferred revenue for a portfolio acquisition in 2012”.

“Activity pertaining to aircraft engine leasing increased by 8%,” it added.

The firm said the pre-tax profit of $45.54m represents a margin of 43.6% on its revenues which is slightly above 2012.

Nine of the world’s top 10 aircraft leasing firms are based in Ireland where they employ 1,000 people directly and 2,000 indirectly.

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

A breakdown of the Shannon Engine Support’s revenues show that $40.2m, or 39%, was generated in the Asia-Pacific region, with 33% or $34.3m in Europe; 19% or $19.3m in the rest of the world and the remaining $10.52m recorded in the Americas.

The profits last year take account of non-cash depreciation of $42.12m. Emoluments to directors including pension payments last year totalled $530,641.

The directors say there was a cash inflow of $92.5m in 2013 against an outflow of $105.86m with no purchase of engine during the year.

Operating profits last year declined marginally from $38.48m to $37.3m.

Management also said it remains confident, through engine utilisation and margin monitoring, “profitability will improve in the future.”

At year end, the firm had accumulated profits of $504.47m with ‘other reserves’ valued at $308.5m.

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