Shannon Group moving to next phase of its journey

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Shannon Group chief executive Matthew Thomas with Group Chairman Rose Hynes.
Shannon Group chief executive Matthew Thomas with Group Chairman Rose Hynes.

THE Shannon Group delivered a fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018, giving chief executive Matthew Thomas a positive send-off when he steps down from his role next month.

The results indicate strong performances at Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage with turnover topping €77.8 million. This represents an 8 per cent increase on 2017 with earnings of €12.7 million showing an increase of 37 per cent.

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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 projects to enhance its business operations, bringing the total invested since 2014 to €85 million.

Describing 2018 as another positive year for the Shannon Group, chief executive Matthew Thomas said there were more passengers using the airport, more visitors enjoying the Shannon Heritage tourist attractions and more business being attracted to the Shannon Free Zone.

“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.”

However with the negative impact of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing Max Jet fleet having a negative impact on airport operations, 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.”

Chairman Rose Hynes said that 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 National Planning Framework. 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 per cent 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,” Ms Hynes added.