Monday 26 January 2015

Where there's muck there's brass: organisers reap €9m in profits

Kim Bielenberg and Aideen Sheehan

Published 27/09/2012 | 05:00

Anna May McHugh and daughter Anna Marie McHugh with President Michael D Higgins at the Ploughing Championships in New Ross this week

THE company that organises the National Ploughing Championships enjoyed bumper profits last year, according to the latest company accounts.

Proving the old saying that where there's muck there's brass, accounts for the National Ploughing Association for 2011 show it is a wealthy organisation, with accumulated profits of almost €9.5m, up from €8.7m, for 2010.

And the total wage packet paid out to its five employees increased by 24pc in 2011 to €377,048, company records show.

The company is thriving under the direction of its redoubtable 78-year-old managing director Anna May McHugh.

The company had a turnover of €4m in 2011 and pre-tax profits of €900,868.

The individual salaries of the managing director Mrs McHugh, her daughter Anna Marie, and other executive directors, are not listed in the latest accounts, filed earlier this year. Anna Marie McHugh, who acts as spokeswoman for the association and is listed as an assistant managing director, yesterday declined to reveal details of the salaries paid to herself or her mother, but said they had not risen last year.

Previous accounts of the association show managing director Anna May McHugh was paid €126,000 in 2010.

Her daughter was paid a salary of €63,000 during the same year.

The 2011 company accounts show that Anna May McHugh was paid €10,000 on top of her salary for the "supply of office and yard facilities, light and heat, and storage of trailers and equipment".

Anna Marie McHugh said the company had high cash reserves because this was vital for an event like the Ploughing Championships. "We are only as good as the next rainy day," she told the Irish Independent.

She said the National Ploughing Association was a voluntary association, so there were no shareholders or dividends paid. She said the increase in staffing costs last year was down to a higher level of short term temporary staff employed for functions such as ticketing.

Irish Independent

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