Profits soar at O’Brien’s aircraft leasing firm

PROFITS from the sale of the South African Safair group resulted in pre-tax profits at Denis O’Brien’s aircraft leasing company, Aergo Capital Ltd increasing sharply to $29.4 million (€21.8m) last year.

Accounts just filed by Dublin-based Aergo Capital show that pre-tax profits increased to $29.4m in the 12 months to the end of December from $2.68m in 2009.

The company made the increase in profits in spite of revenues decreasing by 24% from $150.6m to $114.6m.

According to the directors, they “are satisfied with the level of business and year end financial position”.

The figures show that the company received a gross amount of $91.7m from the sale of the Safair group in November of last year.

The filings show that the net proceeds from the sale of the Safair Group and subsidiary, Aergo Leasing 113 Ltd came to $35m.

Prior to the disposal of the South-African Safair group, Aergo had a significant exposure to foreign exchange and during 2010, the figures show that a major factor behind the company’s increased profits was losses on foreign exchange plummeting from $25.7m in 2009 to $3.4m last year.

The accounts show that revenues from “other operating income” increased from $10.5m to $29m last year.

The filings show that since year end, the company declared in January an interim dividend of $34m for all B ordinary shareholders and in March declared an interim dividend of $6m for all D ordinary shareholders.

The filings show that staff at the firm are well rewarded: the company states that “short-term employment benefits” came to $13.7m with the firm directly employing 15 staff. Figures show that the company employed 166 staff in 2009.

Emoluments for directors dropped from $1.5m to $857,000.

The firm’s direct costs last year decreased from $43.8m to $35m with finance costs decreasing from $26m to $20m.

The profits last year take account of depreciation costs of $30.2m and $3.6m due to the impairment of property, plant and equipment.

The figures show that last year, the company had accumulated profits of $57.2m.

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