Operating profits at Convention Centre firm increase to €5.4m

Operating profits at the firm that operates the Dublin Convention Centre last year increased nine fold to €5.4m, new figures show.

Operating profits at Convention Centre firm increase to €5.4m

Accounts just filed with the Companies Office by Spencer Dock Convention Centre Ltd show that the firm recorded the sharp rise in operating profits after revenues increased by 25% from €20.4m to €24.1m in the 12 months to the end of Feb 28, 2013. The firm recorded operating profits of €606,123 in 2011.

The boost in fortunes arose from much larger events being hosted at the centre in 2012 with the centre confirming yesterday there was 340,000 delegate days last year — an increase of 112% on the previous year.

Nick Waight, CEO of Convention Centre Dublin, said: “Since the Convention Centre opened, we have brought over 700,000 delegate days to Dublin with major benefits to the broader economy in spending on hotels, restaurants, transport and other things.

“We were delighted to see our own income from events rising by over 50% in 2012 over 2011, but the benefit brought to the economy in general is a multiple of this.”

The firm recorded a 32% drop in pre-tax profits declining from €6.7m to €4.63m that chiefly arose from an exceptional gain of €21.5m that did not re-occur last year.

The firm had a share-holders’ deficit of €26.3m at the end of February. The accounts give a book value of €248m to the centre.

Spencer Dock Convention Ltd’s centre parent firm, Spencer Dock Development Company was put into liquidation in Oct 2012 and the fate of the company will ultimately be decided by liquidator, Grant Thornton and its lenders.

Spencer Dock Development Company was owned by John Ronan and Richard Barrett of Treasury Holdings and the property developer Harry Crosbie.

The figures for 2012 show that the company’s revenues were made up of €15.4m in income from event services and €8.7m in operational revenues from the OPW. The income from event services last year increased by 55% from €9.7m to €15.4m.

Addressing the going concern status, the directors’ report states “the company is trading profitably and continues to generate positive cash flows — operating cash flows of €26.3m and €28.2m were generated in the years ended Feb 2013 and 2012 respectively”.

The company has bank loans totalling €210m and the company is in the process of concluding talks with the company’s lenders.

A connected firm, Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin (No2) Ltd provides services to the centre employing 84 with its staff costs last year totalling €3.76m.

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