Belfast Telegraph

Aircoach is driving back into profit

By Gordon Deegan

Aircoach, which runs a bus service from Belfast to Dublin, enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes last year, recording pre-tax profits of just over €3m (£2.3m)

Figures lodged with the Companies Office in the Republic show that Aircoach firm Last Passive recorded the pre-tax profits of €3.04m after incurring pre-tax losses of €773,000 (£589,700) in 2014.

The firm also incurred a loss in 2013.

However, it increased revenues by 20% - from €18m (£13.7m) to €21.83m (£16.7m)- in the 12 months to the end of March 28 last.

The figures show that in spite of the rise in revenues, the firm's costs reduced from €18.88m to €18.79m.

According to the directors' report: "Aircoach's revenues continue to increase due to the previous expansion to include the non-stop express services on two major route corridors and as a result of the improving general economic climate." The directors say "the company remains ideally placed to benefit from the planned liberalisation of public transport markets both in the Republic and Northern Ireland".

Aircoach is owned by UK-based Firstgroup plc and numbers employed by Aircoach fell from 195 to 191 last year.

FirstGroup, which is based in Aberdeen, saw revenue slump by 9.5% in the three months to the end of November as "terrible" weather hit its UK bus business.

Belfast Telegraph