Titanic Belfast centre’s pre-tax profits drop 31%

Pre-tax profits at the firm that operates the North’s most popular visitor attraction last year declined by 31% to £800,697 (€1m).

Titanic Belfast centre’s pre-tax profits drop 31%

New accounts filed by Titanic Belfast Ltd show it sustained the drop in profits despite revenues increasing 7% to £11.66m.

The directors’ report states that in the year to the end of March 2015, the centre attracted “an impressive” 625,000 visitors.

The visitor attraction celebrates Belfast as the birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic and in its first three years of operation, has attracted over two million visitors.

The centre opened in March 2012 and according to the directors’ report, the company, led by Pat Doherty of Harcourt Developments, enjoyed a successful third year as a top visitor attraction.

Visitor numbers were up by 2% last year, with more than three quarters coming from outside the country.

In all, Titanic Belfast attracted visitors from 170 countries during the 12 months. An estimated 678,000 visitors from the North have also visited the centre since it opened.

An independent three-year review has calculated the economic benefit of Titanic Belfast to the local economy as being £105m.

The average number of staff employed last year increased from 134 to 153 with staff costs increasing from £2.17m to £2.45m.

Last year’s drop in profit arose chiefly from the firm’s administrative expenses increasing from £6.27m to £7.42m.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of £712,127. The firm recorded a gross profit of £7.9m after incurring cost of sales totalling £3.75m.

In the accounts, management said that “the appeal of the Titanic story, the quality of the visitor experience facilities and the professionalism of staff continues to drive sustainable consumer demand”.

The firm had been listed for compulsory strike off after failing to lodge its accounts on time, but that threat has been removed after the firm lodged its accounts with Companies House in the UK.

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