Denis Desmond boosted by Festival Republic

The country’s most successful concert promoter, Denis Desmond, has added to his fortune by sharing a dividend totalling £5m (€5.9m) from his Festival Republic business last year.

Last year, the Irish arm of Festival Republic staged the sold-out Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co Laois.

New figures for its UK arm, Festival Republic Ltd just lodged with Companies House in the UK show that the company recorded a 30% decrease in pre-tax profits last year to £3.86m.

This followed revenues at the firm falling 2% from £41.95m to £41.1m in the 12 months to the end of December.

The firm’s operating profits last year fell 29.6% from £5.46m to £3.84m.

Desmond’s Gaiety Investments has a 49.9% share in Festival Republic with international concert promoters, Live Nation owning the remaining shares.

The dividend pay out last year follows a dividend payout of £19m in 2014; £3.29m in 2013; £2.93m in 2012 and £6.6m in 2011.

Festival Republic in the UK stages the annual Reading and Leeds festivals and last year staged five shows compared to seven in 2014.

Numbers attending the shows last year dropped by 3% from 580,653 to 561,718.

According to the directors’ report, the company is profit-taking and had sufficient cash balance. The report states: “The company’s forecasts project that it will continue to trade profitably and be in a strong liquidity position.”

Melvin Benn is managing director of Festival Republic Ltd. The figures show that Festival Republic’s accumulated profits last year fell to £7.7m after the dividend pay-out, with the firm’s cash down from £1.64m to £565,061.

Yesterday, Denis Desmond said he was enjoying “a good year again” in the business.


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