Belfast Telegraph

Dublin Airport plots course for earnings rise

By Staff Reporter

Dublin Airport's 2010 results will show improved earnings despite the dramatic slide in the passenger numbers, ratings agency Standard -amp; Poor's predicted yesterday.

"The affirmations reflect our view of a recovery in DAA's financial performance in the 12 months to Dec 31, 2010," said Standard & Poor's (S&P) credit analyst Aurelie Hariton-Fardad.

Despite this, the agency still has a "negative outlook'' towards the company.

"The negative outlook reflects our view of the uncertainty surrounding a recovery in airport passenger traffic in 2011, which could put DAA's credit metrics under pressure,'' it said.

While Ireland has been downgraded on the back of last weeks €24bn bank recapitalisation package, S&P said the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) holds a "dominant'' position and has a "supportive'' stance from local regulators.

The agency believes there is a "low" likelihood Ireland would provide "sufficient extraordinary support'' to the DAA if it got into financial distress.

"Although the government owns 100pc of DAA's capital, we anticipate that financial support will be primarily provided by the regulatory regime that was established under the Aviation Regulation Act 2001."