Shannon Group makes positive start as first annual report shows all units of business achieving progress

Shannon Group plc has delivered significant progress on key objectives set for 2014 and is now embarking on a programme to

address group-wide underinvestment and improve cost efficiencies, its first annual report has revealed.

The inaugural report covers the four month financial period from the establishment of the Group on 5 September to 31 December 2014. The Group’s four strategic business units – Shannon Airport, Shannon Heritage, Shannon Commercial Properties and the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC ) – have, however, been working together throughout 2014, prior to the Group’s official formation.

The Group, which employs over 600 people in high season, recorded a €21.1 million turnover in its first four months and returned a post-tax profit of €600,000, which, chairman Rose Hynes said, amounted to a satisfactory result given that this period is off-peak for the Airport and Shannon Heritage.

Ms Hynes stated that the Group is working to a five-year strategic plan aimed at continued revenue growth, continued focus on innovation, securing a sustainable cost base through efficiencies and achieving profit growth at each of the four separate business units. The plan also incorporates an ambitious capital investment programme to ensure the Group remains firmly focused on delivering growth opportunities, which will be essential to maintain the competitiveness of the Group’s business.

“Through the generation of sustainable growth and profitability across all of our businesses and by the implementation of our five-year strategic plan, combined with an ongoing focus on innovation, I am confident that Shannon Group will make an enduring positive impact on our communities and the economic landscape of Ireland,” she said.

“Cost containment and improving financial performance through further efficiencies remain an ongoing focus for the Group. Our aim is to establish a more sustainable and robust business model and to improve our profitability across the Group.”

Commenting on the Group results, CEO Neil Pakey, “As we continue our task of building on the momentum and solid achievements of 2014, I believe the combination of our four strategic business units within a single group will unlock opportunities for further co-operation and synergies.

“Taking advantage of these synergies will be important as we strive to enable Shannon Group to fulfil its potential and become an important conduit for stimulating growth across the regional and national economy in the years ahead. It is vital the Groups’ businesses are competitive within the European marketplace. Our transformation must continue to evolve this year with emphasis on change, continuous improvement and improved efficiencies, combined with ensuring we continue to build the platform for the future sustainability of Shannon Group.

“With the creation of our five-year strategic plan, we now have a road map on which to build an exciting and sustainable future.”

Shannon Airport’s profitability for the full financial year 2014 improved considerably, with earnings before interest,

taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA ) of €4.6 million, an increase of 34% on 2013. Addressing historic underinvestment in airport infrastructure also began in 2014 through a €4.4million airport capital expenditure programme. Among these projects were an airport runway overlay upgrade, fire safety upgrade works, a new retail IT system and a new traffic management system.

The airport continued its growth trajectory with a significant increase in passenger numbers (17% ) and improvements in connectivity for the second successive year. European traffic showed the largest gains with a 70% increase. Transatlantic traffic continued to perform strongly, increasing by 10% and UK traffic recorded a 5% increase. The Group’s intention to develop a cargo hub at the airport was also boosted this week by Turkish Airlines, through its subsidiary Turkish Cargo, who announced that it is to commence Ireland’s only direct all-cargo air service to North America from Shannon.

Shannon Airport first welcomed Turkish Airlines in early March this year when the airline began making refuelling stops at the airport. Turkish Airlines will now operate a new weekly Shannon–Chicago service on Fridays through its cargo subsidiary Turkish Cargo, significantly boosting options for Irish exporters, from multi-nationals to SMEs.

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