Brian O’Driscoll’s rugby app scores first profits of €63k

Former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll’s rugby app firm recorded its first profits last year after years of loss-making.

New accounts show that Ultimate Rugby Ltd last year recorded a profit of €62,779 after enjoying a major boost from the World Cup being staged in England and Wales last year.

The profit came after a number of years of the firm incurring losses as it continued through its start-up phase.

Mr O’Driscoll is a major shareholder in the firm with tech entrepreneur, Ray Nolan.

The firm has just lodged accounts for 2014 and 2015.

The firm’s 2014 accounts show that the firm recorded additional losses of €152,430 to bring overall losses to €620,204.

Profit recorded last year, however, reduced the firm’s overall losses to €557,425.

The app and website is a one-stop shop for rugby fans across the world and contains the latest news, real-time scores, videos, competitions, social media and player interaction for all top-level rugby competitions worldwide.

Mr Nolan has shown the Midas touch in the past with turning a €130,000 investment into a €500m return on investment on Web Reservations International.

In a radio interview earlier this year on the progress of Ultimate Rugby, Mr Nolan said: “It has been great fun. It is a great business. It is the biggest app in world rugby. We have got great opportunities ahead of us. It is a great space to be in.”

Ultimate Rugby was set up in 2012 and Mr Nolan said: “I love the game of rugby. It is nice to work in something that you are so passionate about.

“It makes money now which is not bad for a dot.com that is not that old.”

O’Driscoll can afford to be patient on his return on investment with the rugby app firm with accumulated profits at his main firm, ODM and Promotions Ltd last year soaring by €784,173 to €4.4m.

In the 12 months to the end of August 2015, the cash pile at ODM and Promotions Ltd increased by €469,785 going from €942,777 to €1.4m.

The value of the firm’s investments also increased by €90,526 to €2.19m.

The retired centre’s popularity in the corporate world was underlined earlier this year when he fronted the launch of Eir Sport.

The Dubliner is also a regular pundit on BT Sports and Newstalk.

In June, it was confirmed that O’Driscoll has joined the sports division of New York-based global advisory firm Teneo Holdings as a senior advisor.

O’Driscoll also works with HSBC on its golf and rugby sevens sponsorship.


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