herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Price hike helps bumper profits at NCT test firm

Cars being given their tests at an NCT Centre.
Cars being given their tests at an NCT Centre.

A ten percent price hike in the National Car Test (NCT) last year contributed to bumper profits of €4.9m, at the Spanish firm which operates the test.

New figures show that 1.78 million NCTs recorded last year resulted in a multi-million euro bonanza for Barcelona firm Applus+.

According to accounts filed with the Companies Office, Applus+ last year enjoyed the full-year effects of a 10pc price hike in the NCT and 184,000 extra tests to help boost profits.

Last year, Applus Car Testing Service Ltd (ACTSL) performed over 1.78 million national car tests and retests and in the process chalked up revenues of €64.2m - or more than €1.23m per week.

Hike

Revenues increased by 11.5pc from €57.6m to €64.28m and the increase in revenues is attributable not only to the full year effect of a 10pc price hike introduced in February 2012 but also to an extra 184,363 tests completed last year.

The 1.78m tests and retests completed in 2013 represents an 11.5pc increase on the 1.6m tests and retests completed in 2012.

A factor behind the increased number of tests was the fail rate increasing from 51.3pc in 2012 to 53pc last year and this contributed in the amount of retests increasing by 81,449.

The main failure items last year were front suspension, tyre condition and brake line/hoses.

The figures show that the increased fail rate last year resulted in retests accounting for 34.4pc of all tests with retests in 2012 accounting for 33.2pc of all tests.

The number of tests and retests this year is set to surpass last year with 1.58 million tests and retests completed between January and the end of September this year with the fail rate decreasing to 51.1pc

The price of an NCT is €55 with a retest at €28 - 90.6pc of all retests passed last year.

The national car test was introduced in 2000 on foot of an EU directive and Applus secured the 10-year contract for the NCT in 2009, commencing testing in January 2010.

The success of the contract last year contributed to the firm paying a €4.4m dividend.

Applus+ today provides the NCT from 46 NCT centres across the country and according to Applus+'s directors' report for 2013, the number of vehicles tested last year was ahead of the company's 10-year business plan in 2013 and productivity has improved marginally over 2012.

Finance

The figures lodged with the Companies Office show that another major contributor to the rise in pre-tax profits was the firm's net finance income last year totalling €288,380 compared to €104,070 in 2012.

The filings show that the firm's operating profits last year increased by 7pc from €3.93m to €4.2m.

The figures show that the numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 594 to 665, with 601 engaged in sales and operation with 54 in management and administration.

Staff costs last year increased by 18.6pc from €24.3m to €28.85m.

A breakdown of the firm's revenues show that €61.76m was generated from the NCT with €2.2m from the VRT Import Conformance Inspection and €302,988 from ancillary revenues.

Retained earnings stood at €3.7m.

hnews@herald.ie

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