Operating profits at the expanding Dublin Aerospace last year tumbled by 80% to €160,924.

New accounts show that the aircraft maintenance firm recorded the sharp drop in operating profits as revenues declined by 14% from €42.8 million to €36.8 million in the 12 months to the end of September last.

The directors state that given the significant challenges encountered in the aviation industry since the onset of Covid-19, they are satisfied with the performance, albeit that the business did not reach budgeted revenue targets last year.

The directors say that the business "has continued to earn profits subsequent to the year end based on unaudited management accounts".

The business did record pre-tax profits of €6.6 million last year though this is skewed by "other operating income" of €6.59 million mainly made up of Covid-19 Wage Subsidy support payments appearing in the business’s profit and loss account.

The directors say that during the year, the company’s new 70,000 sq ft landing gear facility was completed, doubling the company’s capacity to 350 ‘landing gear legs’ per annum.

They also state that Dublin Aerospace subsidiary, Exeter Aerospace, obtained regulatory approval to repair a range of aircraft "and successfully commenced trading".

The firm also linked up with Honeywell International Link Inc to become a Channel Partner and the directors state that "all three major developments further position the business for the future".

Throughout the pandemic, the directors claim, Dublin Aerospace retained all its staff, without lay-offs, pay-cuts or redundancies to allow the firm "respond quickly when our customers resumed operations".

The directors state that not only did the Government Covid-19 Wage Supports support jobs and wages, "they also gave us the confidence to recruit 45 more aircraft engineering apprentices during the pandemic to cater for our future catering needs".

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.2 million and lease costs of €1.62 million.

Numbers employed at Dublin Aerospace increased from 377 to 392 as staff costs totalled €15.8 million. The number of apprentices employed reached 73.

Pay to key management personnel last year came to €2.24 million - down from the €2.6 million paid out in 2020.

At the end of September last, the company had shareholder funds of €33.28m that included accumulated profits of €26.69 million.

The company's cash funds during the year decreased sharply from €9.07 million to €2.67 million.