Windmill Lane narrows losses in ‘challenging year’

The television and film production company involved in the making of Love/Hate and box-office hit Brooklyn last year reduced its pre-tax losses by 69% to €207,098 and expects to return to profit next year.

Newly-filed accounts for Windmill Lane Pictures Ltd show that the firm reduced its losses after it increased its gross profit from €2.63m to €3.14m. The pre-tax loss takes account of hefty non-cash depreciation charges of €563,768.

The company employs just under 70 people in Dublin and its list of credits include Jamie Dornan’s The Siege of Jadotville, Brooklyn and RTÉ’s Rebellion; while it also worked on the five series of hit crime series, Love/Hate.

The directors’ report section of the latest accounts said that “trading conditions continued to be extremely challenging during the year”.

The company’s management added that the loss for the year, from a cash perspective, was mitigated by the non-cash depreciation costs but after investment in fixed assets, the cash outcome for the year was largely neutral.

Earlier this year, one of the best known figures in the Irish movie industry — and the company’s long-time chief executive — James Morris stepped down from his role.

Management said the company is largely dependent on the Irish market, noting that “during the recession, there was a severe contraction in advertising and television programming that resulted in the company suffering a substantial decline in revenue and profitability.

“The domestic market did improve during 2015, however the principal risks facing the company relate to the sustainability of the market recovery and the company’s ability to maintain and improve market share,” they said.

Staff costs last year rose from €3.43m to €4m.

At the end of last year, the firm’s accumulated profits stood at €2.36m while its cash reduced from €802,594 to €776,708.

In 2009, the company pressed ahead with its €5m move to its new premises in Herbert Place in Dublin.

The move was funded by the sale of its famous docklands studios, where U2 made five albums.

“Windmill Lane Pictures has continued to invest, redevelop and adapt to the changing media landscape despite pressure on traditional revenue streams. We have invested and diversified into new revenues and we look forward to positive returns in the near future,” said chief executive Dave Quinn.

“We expect our core business to break even in 2016 and for the company to return to profitability in 2017,” he said.


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