Greyhound tracks see day-to-day losses more than double to €386k

Day-to-day losses at the country’s main greyhound tracks more than doubled last year.

A hike in the cost of running six of the higher profile tracks saw the 12-month losses at these facilities grow to €386,000 after hitting €167,000 in 2010.

The situation was worse when the effects of exceptional items, writedowns, and land sales were factored in.

This saw a €928,000 collapse from a combined €225,000 profit in 2010 to a €703,000 loss in 2011.

The losses did not include the performance of the tote at each track.

All of the tracks are owned by the Irish Greyhound Board and the group has been struggling with separate financial problems arising from a €23m debt burden.

Repayments on the principal of this loan have yet to begin and will eventually add up to €5m to the costs of running the industry.

The headline operating results relate to six subsidiary tracks that filed 2011 accounts last week: Shelbourne Park, Cork, Harold’s Cross, Limerick, Waterford, and Galway.

These tracks are all subsidiaries of the IGB, which was recently rewarded with a Government decision not to cut its €11m annual allocation under the Horse and Greyhound Fund.

Of those, only Shelbourne Park and Cork recorded profits and, from the loss-making stadia, Harold’s Cross was the only facility to improve its operating performance.

Limerick suffered the biggest hit as it had to write off the value of development land it bought, but then abandoned, in Meelick and the reduced price it received for its former track at the Market’s Field.

In Meelick the company wrote off €368,234 from the value of the site which it invested €1.3m in, but later refused an offer which would have resulted in a €200,000 profit.

The Limerick track’s operating loss, of €164,000, was below expectations for what the new facility was supposed to deliver in the first full year of operation.

According to the profit projections which underpinned the decision to build the stadium the track, not including the tote, it was suppose to return a €220,000 profit.

The subsidiary accounts also revealed the correction of an accountancy error in 2010 which saw sales at its Harold’s Cross track show up in the accounts for the Galway stadium. This had to be corrected and the money returned to Harold’s Cross.

Overall, the deficit in the group’s pension scheme grew by €689,000 to €3.78m.

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