Operators of Bunratty Castle back in the black with 285,000 visits last year

The firm that operates Bunratty Castle and a host of other tourist attractions returned to profit last year.

New figures show that Shannon Castle Banquets and Heritage Ltd recorded a pre-tax profit of €65,079 last year after its gross profit increased by 3.5%, from €6.76m to €7m.

The accounts filed with the Companies Office show that numbers attending the firm’s attractions topped €800,000 last year.

The firm at peak season employs 260 and the figures show Bunratty Castle and Folk Park continues to be the company’s flagship attraction, with €286,270 attending there in 2012. Visitor numbers across the attractions increased by 3% last year.

Shannon Heritage chief executive John Ruddle said it “was very pleased with its 2012 performance”.

Mr Ruddle said visitor numbers at the firm’s medieval banqueting operations increased by 13% in 2013, with visitor numbers to its day attractions up by a further 3%.

“2013 was the best year since the economic downturn began. We saw a slight turnaround in 2012, then 2013 was better still, and 2014 is looking very positive,” he said.

Shannon Heritage had shareholder funds totalling €448,190 last year, according to the report. Its cash increased from €329,228 to €827,913.

The annual basic salary of Mr Ruddle last year amounted to €100,861.

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