TV production company’s profits fall

By Gordon Deegan

The company behind popular RTÉ programmes Room to Improve and First Dates Ireland’ has said it is on course for a strong performance in 2017, despite profits falling 15% last year.

Production company Coco Television recorded profits of €101,978 last year new accounts show, down from €119,874 in 2015.

Accumulated profits, as of the end of last year, amounted to €1.7m, with the company’s cash pile increasing from €1m to €1.72m.

The company employs 14 people and saw staff costs total €576,560 last year.

“We are a significant supplier of programmes to RTÉ. As their revenue base is under pressure the challenge in the independent sector is to keep producing programming more efficiently without affecting creativity,” said Coco Television chief executive Stuart Switzer, who said the company remained “very pleased” with 2016’s performance despite the fall in profit.

“2017 is looking positive once again in a difficult broadcasting environment,” he said, adding that launching new series like Desperate Houses; another with Dermot Bannon, and piloting a new wedding format is proving “very satisfying”.

“Room to Improve is in its 11th series and last year was consistently averaging over 40% audience share, at times outstripping the Late Late Show in terms of ratings,” he added.

Regarding future production, Mr Switzer said: “We are currently developing an exciting new documentary series with partners in Ireland and the US which we hope to announce early in the new year,” he added.

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