Written answers

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Semi-State Bodies Dividends

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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38. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide detail of his efforts to ensure that all commercial semi-State companies under his Department's remit pay dividends to the Exchequer; the importance of such dividends; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30958/13]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Government’s position is that all profitable commercial State companies with distributable profits return a financial dividend to the State. The general guideline figure is 30% of after-tax profits. Depending on the financial circumstances of the particular company, the figure adopted may be more or less than this guideline 30% figure.  However, dividend policies will need to take account of issues such as current and projected profitability, capital investment plans and pension funding. I have reviewed the capacity of all the commercial State companies under my Department’s responsibility to pay a dividend in line with this policy. Many of these companies are not currently profitable and are not therefore in a position to pay.  The capacity to pay dividends in 2013 in any material way is therefore limited to a small number of the larger and profitable State companies, specifically Dublin Port Company, the Irish Aviation Authority and the Port of Cork. A dividend has also been secured from Aer Lingus.

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