Shannon Group delivers strong performance with fourth successive year of growth

  • King Johns Castle, Limerick

Shannon Group plc, the parent company of Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage, delivered a fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018.

A strong performance across all three of its companies is reflected in the Group’s 2018 year end result which shows a turnover last year of €77.8 million, 8% ahead of 2017, and EBITDA of €12.7 million, an increase of 37%. These results reflect improved year-on-year performance and continued growth since the formation of the Group in 2014.

Last year the Group invested over €21 million in a range of capital investment projects to help enhance and drive its business operations. This investment is part of the first phase Group investment strategy which has seen almost €85 million invested since 2014.

Said Shannon Group CEO, Matthew Thomas: “2018 has been yet another positive year for Shannon Group - we have seen more passengers using our airport, more visitors enjoying our heritage tourist attractions, and our property portfolio attracting more businesses to the region. It is particularly pleasing that all the Group’s divisions are showing growth in turnover and productivity. Profits generated by the Group are reinvested in our companies to ensure their long-term growth and sustainability, and to continue to deliver a positive economic impact for the people of our region.”

With the negative impact of the Max Jet grounding, Mr Thomas sounded a cautionary note: “2019 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for Shannon Airport. The world-wide grounding of the 737 Max aircraft is having serious implications for passengers and the aviation industry alike. At Shannon it is impacting our well supported and successful Norwegian and Air Canada services. This will affect our passenger throughput and resultant business as we build towards what is otherwise a busy summer season. We continue to work with the airlines to assist them in every way we can to aid the return of these services.” 

Commenting on the results, Rose Hynes, Chairman, Shannon Group said: “Following another successful year, the Group is now moving on to the next phase of its journey. We have an ambitious strategy to ensure continued growth in the years ahead. Our plans demonstrate Shannon Group’s commitment to the NPF ambitions. We are confident that with the right supports and policies, we will play an important role in the successful implementation of Project Ireland 2040 and its promise to generate 75% growth outside of the capital over the next 21 years.

“We are determined to continue to maximise the opportunities in each of our businesses. As a very significant business in the regional and national economy, we are committed to working in partnership with all our stakeholders to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for Shannon Group and our region,” said Ms Hynes.

Shannon Group 2018 Highlights

Shannon Airport

  • Sixth successive year of growth with 6.5% increase in passengers to over 1.86 million in 2018
  • UK and transatlantic markets biggest performers, up 7% on each
  • On transatlantic, Shannon operated six airlines to seven destinations – the airport’s biggest number of services to the US/Canada in 17 years
  • During 2018 there were 25,556 take offs and landings from the airport’s newly resurfaced runway, which at 3,199 metres (10,495 ft) is the longest runway in Ireland

Shannon Commercial Properties

  • Completed its €40 million first phase investment strategy and delivered over 650,000 sq ft of new or upgraded office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities at the Shannon Free Zone
  • Over 150,000 sq ft of renovated or new builds completed at Shannon Free Zone in 2018 alone
  • Among projects completed during the year include GE Sensing Expansion Project, Advanced Technology Manufacturing Unit (ATMU), Starbucks and numerous upgrade projects
  • Occupancy rates at Shannon Free Zone now at 94%, have more than doubled since 2013
  • Among new companies established at Shannon Free Zone in 2018 were; Jaguar Land Rover (with the creation of 150 jobs), Edward Life Sciences, Aero-Zone, STS UJet Group, Stratos, Aerospace Asset Trading, Aerospace Inspection, Euro Superabrasive and Starbucks
  • Gateway Hub co-working space for small business and entrepreneurs at Shannon Airport House in Shannon Free Zone is now home to FroschCTM, InflightFlix, Sonas Aviation, Airborne Capital, The Air Law Firm

Shannon Heritage

  • 4.3% increase in visitor numbers to almost 925,000 - a doubling of visitor numbers since 2012
  • Last year’s performance was assisted by the addition of Newbridge House & Gardens in May, in partnership with Fingal County Council
  • Over 73,000 visitors attended an annual calendar of seasonal events - Easter, Halloween and Christmas - a 32% increase on 2017
  • In 2018 Shannon Heritage visitor attractions generated 253,000 bed nights, supported 840 direct and indirect jobs and generated an economic value of €28 million to the Irish economy
  • Shannon Heritage invested over €1 million in capital investment projects to enhance and upgrade visitor attractions during the year
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