Profits at Ryanair cabin crew agency Crewlink fell sharply last year despite turnover reaching almost €100 million, the latest figures show.
Crewlink is one of several agencies that provide Ryanair with cabin crew. It employed almost 4,100 people last year, topping the 3,338 permanent staff working at internet giant Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.
Pretax profit at Wicklow-based Crewlink Ireland fell more than 80 per cent in 2018 to €10,260 from €61,353 the previous year, according to accounts just filed with the Companies' Registrar.
Turnover at the company rose 14 per cent to €98.2 million in 2018 from €86.33 million the previous year.
However, rising costs and wages dented the company’s margins. The accounts show total costs last year hit €98.1 million from €86.25 million in 2017.
A 10 per cent increase in the average wage that Crewlink paid its workers contributed to rising expenses.
Its total wage, welfare and pension bill for the 4,095 workers it employed in 2018 was €94.36 million, an average of €23,043. In 2017, it paid 3,950 staff €83.2 million, an average of €21,029.
Ryanair gave its 9,000 cabin crew pay increases in 2018 while the company also agreed to recognise trade unions after more than two decades of refusing to deal with labour organisations.
Crewlink struck deals with a number of unions, including Fórsa, which represents Irish-based cabin crew.
The company's directors and owners, Frank Whelan and Judy Byrne, state in their report that they are pleased with the 14 per cent increase in turnover.
“All available evidence for the markets in which the company operates, the company’s own financial performance post year-end and its growth prospects all indicate that these trends should continue for the foreseeable future,” they say.
They highlight fallout from a no-deal Brexit among several potential risks that the company faces. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has also warned that the airline’s business could suffer should the UK crash out of the European Union without an agreement.
Crewlink’s balance sheet shows that it had €4.6 million in cash at the end of last year, against €670,000 12 months earlier. Net assets were more than €56,000.