Datalex secures new €5m loan from Dermot Desmond vehicle

Revenue up by almost a quarter at airline retail software firm amid air traffic recovery

Datalex, the airline retail software company, has secured a new €5 million credit facility from a company controlled by Dermot Desmond as it continues to explore new fundraising options.

The new credit facility, the fourth advanced to the Dublin-listed group by the Tireragh vehicle on September 14th, has already been drawn down and is repayable by December 31st, 2024, the group confirmed in its half-year results on Friday.

Datalex also has €10 million outstanding in respect of loans from its main shareholder Mr Desmond, which it had hoped to refinance as the interest rate attached to the loan has already increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent and is on track to ultimately rise to 18 per cent from October.

It is understood that the new loan has been advanced on the same terms, meaning the interest rate will increase 18 per cent from October. Sources told The Irish Times in June that Datalex had hoped that any fresh debt funding would be on better terms than the existing Tireragh facility.


Revenue at the company based in Clontarf in Dublin increased by 24 per cent in the first six months of the year to $12.9 million (€12.1 million) compared with the same period last year, Datalex said in half-year results published on Friday.

With the exception of China, Datalex said its key markets had “surpassed expectations” over the period as global air traffic recovered to 90 per cent of 2019 levels.

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However, the group reported an adjusted earnings loss of $3.1 million for the six months to the end of June, up from $2.1 million last year.

Datalex said that an increase in services revenue led to a decline in gross margin and earnings due to rising personnel costs. Total operating costs surged 30 per cent to $18 million in the first half, said outgoing chief executive Sean Corkery, correlating “directly to the increased activity in customer activations, which requires upfront investment”.

Datalex also added a new airline, LatAm Airlines, to its customer base. “Other significant developments included the successful renewal of four key airline partners during the period, including Air China, Air Transat, JetBlue, and Edelweiss,” Mr Corkery said. “Each of these renewals represents essential building blocks towards steady and sustainable growth, as the group continues to successfully move each customer on to a standard commercial model of license fees and variable transaction fees.”

The Irish Times reported in June that Datalex ultimately plans to refinance the Desmond loans, as well as an additional debt it takes on in the near term, through an equity raise, most likely through a €20 million share sale.

Datalex said in April that it was exploring “all financing options” to refinance the Tireragh loans. In June, however, sources indicated that the group was likely to hold off on a share sale in the near term amid unease among existing investors about its depressed share price, seeking to raise further debt finance in the meantime for working capital as it works on activating big new contracts.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times