Sunday 24 September 2017

MCD back in profit after 1.5 million gig tickets sold in 2011

MCD boss Denis Desmond.
MCD boss Denis Desmond.

Gordon Deegan

CONCERT promoters MCD Productions returned to profit last year after the number of tickets sold rose 8pc to 1.54 million.

MCD boss Denis Desmond yesterday confirmed the turnaround last year after recording a loss in 2010. US-based trade journal 'Pollstar' rates MCD as the 10th largest promoter in the world last year in terms of tickets sold.

"We are very happy to be up there. It is a lot of tickets sold. Irish people love their music and their concerts," Mr Desmond said yesterday.

MCD does not file annual accounts, as it is an unlimited company. However, a report lodged by auditors DKC confirms MCD posted a loss for the year to December 2010.

Mr Desmond said 2010 was a busy year but the loss arose from costs of a structural re-organisation and writedown of irrecoverable debts. He declined to comment on the structural re-organisation.

However, there were costs associated with the High Court case involving Mr Desmond and his former business partner, Eamonn McCann, over the partnership. This was settled in December 2010 after eight days in court.

On the bad debts, Mr Desmond said: "We're not as trusting as we once were. We pay the artists upfront and now we make sure that we are paid upfront as well."

Acts

This summer, acts who MCD Productions are bringing to Ireland include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West, Westlife, The Stone Roses, David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia.

However, figures from Pollstar underline the impact MCD's decision to not stage Oxegen for 2012 will have on the firm's revenues this year.

According to Pollstar, Oxegen generated the fifth biggest box office across the world outside the US last year, with 191,656 or 95pc of tickets sold, generating €14.7m in revenues.

MCD sold out the Kings of Leon gig at Slane Castle last year with ticket sales of €5.7m, while the Neil Diamond Dublin gig in June was the 98th highest grossing concert outside the US, generating revenues of €2.4m, with 89pc of tickets sold.

Mr Desmond promised Oxegen would return next year. "We are resting Oxegen for one year. Glastonbury is doing the same and Oxegen will be back in 2013."

Costs of staging Oxegen, including insurance and policing "are very high. We need to lower our overheads with Oxegen, but it will be back next year," he said

But 2012 "is looking very positive". MCD employs 37 people at its Dublin office and Mr Desmond claimed its shows in the capital produced an average annual revenue of €100m for the local economy. Oxegen was worth €40m for the Kildare area.

He said: ''The Westlife concerts at Croke Park, along with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Madonna shows and other MCD gigs will generate a €100m spin-off for Dublin this year. Business is good. It's getting harder to make a profit now, but it is still a good industry."

Mr Desmond established MCD Productions 30 years ago. "I love music but the music business is my passion."

Irish Independent

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