Ardmore Studios profits drop 41%

THE end of filming of hit series The Tudors resulted in operating profits at Ardmore Studios declining by 41% last year to €386,094.

Accounts filed by Ardmore Studios Ltd show that revenues declined by 11.5% from €3.13 million to €2.76m in the 12 months to the end of December last year.

The studio is co-owned by accountant and businessman Ossie Kilkenny and U2’s manager Paul McGuinness, with its principal activity the rental of film studio facilities and related services.

Ardmore benefited from four series of the award-winning Canadian production The Tudors being shot at the Co Wicklow studios.

The costume drama, which stars Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, centred around the reign of Henry VIII.

Last year, Irish-Canadian produced drama Camelot — starring Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green — was shot at the studios, which is Ireland’s biggest film and TV production centre.

The new figures show that Ardmore’s pre-tax profits dropped by 22% in 2010, from €499,648 to €386,094.

The lower drop in pre-tax profits compared to operating profits is explained by an exceptional one-off cost of €165,066 in 2009 that did not recur in 2010.

Remuneration to directors last year increased to €482,315 — and was made up of €181,311 in fees and €301,004 in pension contributions.

The company repaid a loan of €220,709 of a €385,775 loan to a connected company, Ardmore Studios International Ltd, while there was a loan outstanding of €395,311 to Enterprise Ireland at the end of the year.

Ardmore Studios’ staff costs last year dropped from €1.18m to €1.16m, with the numbers employed at the company falling from 23 to 22.

Pointing to the company’s risks and uncertainties, Ardmore Studios cites “the risk to changes in Government legislation, in relation to incentives designed to attract foreign investment to Ireland within this industry, and the risk of increased unrealistic wages or infrastructural costs”.

The success of the business has, meanwhile, resulted in Wicklow County Council investing in a full-time film commissioner.

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