Convention Centre company makes €6m profit but parent in liquidation

The company that runs the Convention Centre in Dublin made a €6m profit for the year ended Feb 29, 2012, according to filed accounts.

The Convention Centre is run by Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin Ltd — a subsidiary of the Spencer Dock Development Company, which went into liquidation in October.

The fate of the company will ultimately be decided by the liquidator and the banks.

The Convention Centre was a public private partnership between the Spencer Dock Development Company and the Office of Public Works. The agreement was to build a convention centre in Dublin and run it over a 25-year period.

Spencer Dock Development Company was owned by John Ronan and Richard Barrett of Treasury Holdings and the property developer Harry Crosbie. Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett had been involved in a long and complex legal tussle with Nama for much of the past year.

They ultimately lost the case which resulted in a number of their companies going into liquidation.

The Office of Public Works is contractually obliged to pay the Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin Ltd €48m each year for the first five years and €24m each year for the remaining 20 years.

Turnover for the year to the end of February was €20.5m and an operating profit for the year of €606k.

However, there were a series of exceptional items that brought the net profit up to €6.14m.

The company built an adjoining carpark and hotel basement in 2010, but formed the view in 2011 that it would not get paid for either of these projects.

Consequently an impairment charge of €37m was written off in last year’s accounts.

However, payment was made this year and €21m was written back into the accounts.

A further €15m was received in interest payments but €31m was written off in a market-to-market valuation of an interest rate hedging instrument.

The Convention Centre has attracted a significant amount of business since it opened its doors over two years ago.

There have been 620 events with roughly 420,000 delegates in attendance.

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