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ESB pays out €121.6 million in dividends to the Exchequer so far in 2022

A total of €179.4 million has been paid out by semi-state companies to the Exchequer so far this year.

Image: Leah Farrell

COMMERCIAL SEMI-STATE companies have to date this year paid out aggregate dividends of €179.4m to the Exchequer, including €121.6m from the ESB.

The €179.4m paid out to date in 2022 is already 18% or €27.7m in excess of the €151.7m dividends paid out by the semi-state companies to the Exchequer for the 12 months of last year.

In a written Dáil reply to co-leader of the Social Democrats, Catherine Murphy, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe has confirmed that the bulk of the dividend has come from the ESB in 2022 at €121.6m.

The €121.6m paid over by the ESB to date this year compares to €77.67m paid out by the power firm in 2021 and €47.6m paid out in 2020.

On the back of the ESB’s soaring operating profits of €357m before exceptional items reported for the first six months of this year, Taoiseach, Michael Martin has stated that in recent days the Government “can look forward to a much higher dividend” from the ESB.

The information provided by Donohoe show that the other main contributors of dividends this year are the operator of Bord Gáis and Irish Water, Ervia and Bord na Mona.

Donohoe has confirmed that Ervia’s 2022 dividend to the exchequer is €30.1m and this down on dividends of previous years – in 2021, Ervia paid out a dividend of €38.43m and this followed dividend payouts of €70.95m in 2020, €139.4m in 2019 and €139m in 2018.

The figures show that Bord na Mona’s 2022 dividend of €21.6m is a multiple of dividends paid out in previous years.

The dividend payout by Bord na Mona was made as the semi-state recorded more than tripling of pre-tax profits from €27.75m to €85.1m in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

The €21.6m paid out by Bord na Mona compares to €6.39m paid out in 2021 and the semi-state paid out no dividends in 2020, 2019, 2018 and paid out €2.3m in 2017.

Coillte’s dividend payout to date this year totals €5m and this compares to €25m for 2021, €2.3m for 2020 and €13m for 2019.

Donohoe confirmed that no dividend has to date been received from the Dublin Port Company this year and the last dividend paid out by the port company was in 2019 when €4.1m was paid out.

Other semi-state port companies have this year paid out dividends and they include Shannon Foynes Port which has paid out €400,000, the Port of Waterford which has paid out €266,135 and the Port of Cork which has paid €250,000 to the State.

Eirgrid this year has yet to pay out a dividend after paying out €4m for each of the years spanning 2017 and 2021.

In his written reply to Murphy, Donohoe stated: “Any dividends from Semi-State bodies received by the Exchequer form part of the overall revenue collected by the State. The policies relating to the payment of such dividends are detailed in the Instrument or Legislation which covers the formation of each body”.

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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