Pension provisions push Hial to £3m pre-tax loss

‘help our communities‘: Hial chef executive Inglis Lyon said the company aimed to improve connectivity in the Highlands and Islands
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Pension obligations have seen losses soar at publicly owned airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial).

Figures released by the company yesterday, which is wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers and is responsible for the management and operation of 11 airports across the Highlands and Islands, said they had boosted revenue for the year ending March 31 to £24.9 million up from £22m.

But the firm also recorded pre-tax losses of £3.1m – up from just £985,000 the year before.

The operating loss for the year was also up to £2.2m compared with £8,000 in the year 2016/2017.

The firm said this was primarily due to accounting for the amendments to pension costs year-on-year in order that Hial’s future pension obligations are met.

It added: “These pension costs are in accordance with the accounting standard IAS19. They are a non-cash item and without them, Hial would have broken even during the year.”

Hial chief executive Inglis Lyon said the company had invested almost £10m in the last financial year and would continue to work towards ensuring sustainable long-term aviation connectivity for the Highlands and Islands.

He said: “Further development, investment and improvement in connectivity for the region will encourage tourism, attract new inward investment and enhance the business opportunities available here. Ultimately, better transport accessibility will lead growth and help our communities to prosper even further.”