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Aer Lingus ends slump as profits hit €30m

The flag-carrying airline reports its first profit in several years, with pre-tax profits hitting €30.4m for 2010.

Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller has said the airline's 2011 results will struggle to match the profits of 2010.
Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller has said the airline's 2011 results will struggle to match the profits of 2010.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

AER LINGUS has returned to profit for the first time in several years, after publishing its end-of-year results for 2010 this morning.

The airline – in which the State has a 25.4 per cent stake, while Ryanair owns a further 29.4 per cent – posted pre-tax profits of €30.4 million for the year ending December 31.

The profit came on the back of an operating profit of €57.6 million. In 2009, by comparison, operating losses of €81 million led to a pre-tax loss of almost €155 million, RTÉ reported.

The results came with a warning for investors, however, as the airline indicated increased airport charges and continuing surges in the price of oil.

Those increased costs, CEO Christoph Mueller said, would mean ongoing cost savings were unlikely to yield additional profits.

The 2010 results were nonetheless impressive given the flight disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and the severe weather in January and December, and given the decline in passenger numbers of around 10 per cent.

They also included the €32.5 million charge set aside to settle a dispute with the Revenue Commissioners, Business and Leadership confirms.

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Gavan Reilly

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