Ballymaloe Cookery School back in black with modest return to profit

Ballymaloe Cookery School back in black with modest return to profit
Darina Allen

Celebrity chef Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery School returned to profit last year, recording a profit of €62,134 compared to a loss of €45,548 in the previous year.

The firm employs 60 and staff costs last year totalled €1.97m.

One of Darina Allen’s sons, Toby is General Manager of the school and was appointed to the company board in February of last year.

Commenting on last year’s financial performance, Mr Allen said: “After a number of difficult years where we had some one-off expenses that we needed to absorb, thankfully last year was more upbeat and we once again showed a small profit.”

The bedrock of the school’s operation is the school’s 12-week certificate course which costs €12,595 per person and runs three times a year

Mr Allen said: “This year has again been challenging with Brexit causing uncertainty that has had an effect on our Irish and British students.

Our current 12-week course is a little under subscribed -about 5% down - but still shows the international character of our students with 14 nationalities present.

Mr Allen added: “Our next 12-week course in September is on course to be fully subscribed and we have tackled the uncertainty caused by Brexit by increasing our advertising and social media exposure.”

If the 12-week course is fully subscribed in any one year it can generate revenues of €2.2m. The school has been operating since 1983.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €106,672.

The cash pile at the firm during the year increased from €213,574 to €444,187.

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Dawn breaks on the first morning of the April 2019 certificate course

A post shared by Ballymaloe Cookery School (@ballymaloecookeryschool) on

Along with the intensive 12-week course, the Cookery School offers a range of other courses.

Pay to directors increased from €247,864 to €262,221, including pension payments of €65,016.

The accounts put a book value of €3.3m on the firm’s fixed assets - up from €3.2m in 2017.

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