NCT operator records €20.65m revenue hit due to Covid-19

Applus carried out a million full NCT tests last year compared with 1.39m tests in 2019

The operator of the National Car Test last year recorded a pretax loss of €1.33 million.

Accounts for two Applus entities show Covid-19 resulted in a €20.65 million revenue hit for the business in 2020.

Applus carried out a million full NCT tests last year compared with 1.39 million such 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 with revenues of €80.84 million in 2019 – a drop of 25.5 per cent.


The 10-year NCT contract operated by Spanish-based Applus concluded in June 2020 but the firm successfully retendered 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 Applus Inspection Services Ireland Ltd (AISI), which took over the contract, recorded revenues of €38.17 million from June 27th to the end of the year.

Wage subsidies

ACTS’s pretax loss of €2.8 million last year is offset by a pretax profit of €1.47 million by AISI, resulting in a pretax 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 schemes.

ACTS directors say the results for the first half of last year were in line with expectations given both the network-wide lift failure issue and the impact of the pandemic, which led to tests being deferred.

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

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times