Big 'Tá' for Hawk Eye firm as profits soar to €6.5m

Big 'Tá' for Hawk Eye firm as profits soar to €6.5m

It is a big ‘Tá’ for the tech firm that decides questionable points in top GAA matches as pre-tax profits last year increased at Hawk Eye by 31% to £5.87m (€6.5m).

The Hawk Eye technology has become an integral part of the big GAA match occasions at Croke Park and Semple Stadium over the last number of years and the company’s deal with the GAA has contributed to revenues increasing by 44% from £22.4m to £32.m in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

Hawk Eye Innovations Ltd last year more than doubled its revenues in the UK increasing from £3.84m to £9.05m with revenues from ‘Rest of world’ increasing from £18.55m to £23.15m.

In 2016, the GAA’s use of Hawk Eye extended to Semple Stadium.

First used as a broadcast tool to analyse decisions in Cricket, Hawk-Eye has now become an integral part of over 20 sports and every year covers 20,000 games or events across more than 500 stadiums in over 90 countries.

According to the directors’ report, the firm has had a successful year with revenue growing by 44% from the prior year.

The report states: “The revenue growth is mainly due to the winning of new contracts which also drive the small decline in gross profit margin.

The report adds: “In terms of profitability, the operating margin has remained relatively consistent showing that there is enhanced investment in our support service to facilitate sustainable growth

During last year, the Sony-owned Hawk-Eye gross margin profit reduced from 44% to 40%.

The directors state that they anticipate that the company will continue to trade profitably in the coming year.

The report states: “This will be driven by the globalisation of the brand where the company will both sell our existing services, but also develop new offerings to a range of new customers and sports.

Coupled with high operational standards the company hopes to replicate the success achieved in existing regions.

At Croke Park, the technology involves eight high speed cameras with the ball position triangulated using four cameras covering each end of the stadium.

The Hawkeye technology was installed at Croke Park following 86% of delegates at Congress in favour of installing the system.

Hawk Eye has long enjoyed a high public profile through its ball-tracking technology for tennis.

Along with the GAA, the Sony-owned Hawk Eye also counts the Premier League in England, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga amongst its clients.

The Hawk Eye firm last year spent £1.5m on Research and Development.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of £2.6m while the numbers employed by Hawk-Eye increased from 176 to 224.

This resulted in staff costs increasing from £6.8 to £9.6m.

Accumulated profits at Hawk-Eye last year totalled £20.5m while the firm’s cash pile reduced from £3.3m to £619,000. Directors pay totalled €597,000.

The accounts show that after paying corporation tax of £1.3, the firm recorded post tax profits of £4.56m.

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