The overseas travel retail arm of the DAA this year declared a dividend of €100m.  

That is according to accounts filed by Aer Rianta International (ARI) which show that pre-tax profits at the company last year more than halved to €16.57m.  

The drop in pre-tax profits came mainly from income decreasing by 41% from €29.54m to €17.29m from subsidiaries and joint ventures. 

Revenues at ARI last year increased by 4% from €237.6m to €246.6m. 

The €100m dividend declared last March was made over many years to the DAA but has only been declared in the current year. 

A spokesman for the DAA stated: "The dividend payment was not a cash payment during the year. ARI is a wholly owned subsidiary of DAA and the transfer of funds within the group occurred over many years." 

The former CEO of ARI, Jack McGowan, left the company in May of last year to pursue a new opportunity while its former chief development officer John Heffernan also resigned from the ARI board in February last year. 

The accounts show that last year under directors' pay, a termination payment of €288,000 for management services was made. 

The DAA spokesman stated: "This was pay in lieu of contracted notice due under the terms of a director's contract."

He declined to comment further on the payment as the payment was a contractual matter between ARI and a specific individual. 

Apart from the €288,000 payment, pay to directors last year increased from €571,000 to €907,000 and the DAA spokesman stated that ARI had six directors for most of 2018 compared to five directors for most of 2017. 

"ARI is a key part of DAA's business," the spokesman said. 

ARI "has retail businesses in 12 countries overseas including Canada, Cyprus, India, Bahrain, Oman and New Zealand employing more than 3,000 people worldwide with a managed turnover of more than $1 billion," he stated. 

"ARI also holds DAA's shareholdings in Dusseldorf Airport and Hermes Airports, which operates Larnaca and Paphos airports in Cyprus," he added. 

On expansion plans for 2020, the spokesman said: "Abu Dhabi Airport’s new Midfield Terminal is due to open in 2020 and ARI Middle East will operate several new stores there including perfume and cosmetics, sunglasses and jewellery outlets. ARI is continuing to seek new opportunities in the global travel retail sector." 

Shareholder funds at ARI at the end of last year totalled €385.5m and it had cash of €85m. 

Staff costs last year totalled €40.6m and numbers employed increased from 909 to 967.