IMI losses rise to €6.3m in 2009

THE Irish Management Institute (IMI) which trains the country’s business elite, saw losses increase substantially to close to €6.3 million in 2009.

The IMI’s accounts, seen by the Irish Examiner, show the country’s leader in executive education made a trading loss of €2.6m against €1.4m in 2008. The €6.3m losses in 2009 compares with a deficit of just €1.3m in 2008.

Property write-downs, and a sharp fall in demand for courses as the recession hit home, are the reasons for the poor performance.

The group’s properties on its 13-acre site in Sandyford, Co Dublin, were written down by €3m as the group moved to reflect huge losses in property values. Other charges, mainly made up of interest and losses on investments, pushed the total loss for the year to €6.3m.

The institute still has tofinalise a merger with UCC that was agreed last year.

Internal squabbling within government departments dealing with the merger is thought to be the reason for the delay.

IMI board chairman Dr Philip Nolan said last year was “particularly challenging.” Falling revenues were a key feature as the recession proved very difficult and resulted in companies cutting back sharply on the amount invested in management training, he said.

Cost cutting measures have been initiated while “seeking to keep our focus on promoting innovation in lifelong learning for management in Ireland,” he added.

Despite the IMI’s inability to turnaround its loss making situation the group continued to raise its international profile as a centre of management education. Its ranking in the Financial Times Top 65 management education league rose a number of places after having first made it ito the rankings in 2008.

Also the Master of Business programme saw an up take of numbers by 30% in the current year.

On the merger with UCC the IMI said “hurdles” had still to be overcome, but it is understood the failure to tie up the deal is to do with internal haggling between the various government departments overseeing the integration process.

The IMI chairman said the two groups have made a lot of progress towards a full merger and said they are confident of establishing its management training wing in the top 20 of the FT rankings in a short period.


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