Profits at U2’s management firm fall by €1.9m

U2’s management firm was loss-making for the fourth year in a row last year with new figures showing that accumulated profits deceased sharply by €1.9m.

Last November, Paul McGuinness confirmed that he was stepping down as manager of U2 after more than 30 years at the helm, when announcing the sale of his Dublin- based Principle Management to international music giant, Live Nation.

The sale was part of a reported $30m (€22.2m) deal that also included Live Nation purchasing Madonna’s entertainment company, Maverick. Mr McGuinness is to remain chair of Principle Management with Guy Oseary taking over U2’s day-to-day management.

New abridged figures for the final year that Mr McGuinness led the company show Principle Management’s accumulated profits decreased by 86% or from €3.38m to €1.48m in the 12 months to the end of March 31, 2013.

Since the Live Nation buyout, the firm has been renamed Evergreen Ventures, and the fiscal 2013 accounts show its cash pile also fell by 86% or €3.37m from €3.93m to €560,178.

In a note, auditors for the firm, Crowe Howarth Bastow Charleton confirm that Principle Management did record a loss for the year and a loss in fiscal 2012.

This followed pre-tax losses at Principle Management topping €1.8m in 2011 and €253,821 in 2010. The firm’s accumulated profits in 2011 stood at €5.5m.

The 2013 accounts do not provide a revenue or loss figure for the year, but in an indicator of less activity at the firm last year, the firm’s payroll taxes declined sharply from €155,897 to €55,986.

The figures show that the firm had €5.2m in financial assets at the end of the year.

However, the sharp drop in the firm’s cash was the main factor behind the firm’s net assets last year more than halving from €3.38m to €1.46m.

The amount owed to the firm’s creditors totalled €8.29m. The identity of the creditors is not disclosed in the 2013 accounts, however the vast majority is understood to be owed to Mr McGuinness. The 2011 accounts show that Mr McGuinness was owed €9.5m by the firm at the end of March that year.

In a statement last December, U2 thanked Mr McGuinness “for his extraordinary leadership, guidance and friendship over the last 35 years”.


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