NCT firm suffers €20.5 million revenue hit due to Covid-19

The business that operates the National Car Test (NCT) last year recorded pre-tax loss of €1.33 million
NCT firm suffers €20.5 million revenue hit due to Covid-19

Gordon Deegan

The business that operates the National Car Test (NCT) last year recorded pre-tax loss of €1.33 million.

That is according to accounts for two Applus entities which show that Covid-19 resulted in a €20.65 million revenue hit for the business in 2020.

Last year, Applus carried out one million full NCT tests compared to 1.39 million full tests in 2019.

Combined revenues at the two Applus firms, Applus Car Testing Service Ltd (ACTS) and Applus Inspection Services Ireland Ltd (AISI) totalled €60.19 million for 2020 compared to revenues of €80.84 million in 2019 - a drop of 25.5 per cent.

The ten-year NCT contract operated by Spanish-based Applus concluded in June 2020 and the firm successfully re-tendered for a new 10-year contract.

Underscoring the impact of Covid-19 on the business, ACTS recorded revenues of only €22 million for the first half of 2020 and the Applus firm that took over the contract, Applus Inspection Services Ireland Ltd (AISI) recorded revenues of €38.17 million from June 27th to the end of the year.

The pre-tax loss at ACTS of €2.8 million last year is offset by a pre-tax profit of €1.47 million by AISI resulting in a pre-tax loss of €1.33 million for the 12 months across the two companies.

Numbers employed by AISI last year totalled 803 and the two Applus companies received a combined €5.3 million in Government Covid-19 wage support scheme payments last year.

On the company performance for the first half of the year, the directors of ACTS state that results for the first half of 2021 were in line with expectation given the impacting events notably the network wide lift failure issue compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This involved the Government decision for a permanent four-month test deferral.

The company last year paid out no dividend, but the contract has been very lucrative for its Spanish parent.

The company commenced paying out dividends on its profits from the NCT contract here in 2013 and by the end of 2019 had paid out a total of €35.5 million in dividends.

At a Labour Court hearing earlier this year during the course of contesting a pay claim made by SIPTU, Applus stated that it had sustained “significant financial losses in 2020” and was not in a financial position to concede the pay claim due to the 2020 losses “and a very poor performance in 2021”.

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