Monday 24 November 2014

Profits plunge 46pc at feuding families' two Dublin cinemas

Published 21/11/2012 | 05:00

THE feuding families behind Dublin's Savoy and Screen cinemas saw profits at the two venues tumble 46pc to just over €386,000 in 2011.

Owned by the warring Anderson-Ward families, the two premises form just part of their massive cinema footprint across Ireland.

Accounts just filed at the Companies Office for the firm behind the Savoy and Screen – Dublin Cinema Group, show that operating profit in the 12 months to October 2011 declined from €714,500 in 2010.

The Ward and Anderson families have been involved in Ireland's cinema business since the forties. The Ward-Anderson group controls about half the country's cinema screens.

But Paul Ward, the son of one of the founders, Leo Ward, has been at loggerheads with Paul Anderson, the chairman of the Dublin Cinema Group. Half-brothers Leo Ward and Kevin Anderson founded the cinema business. Paul Anderson is Kevin Anderson's son.

Paul Ward has claimed in court that Paul Anderson's role as chairman has restricted his rights as a minority shareholder.

The two cousins have been at odds with each other for years, with the relationship recently having become so strained as to prompt court action.

Since their relationship soured, they've been developing cinema sites independently. That has been one of the catalysts for the courtroom drama.

Mr Anderson plans to build a cinema on Dublin's St Stephen's Green. But Mr Ward has argued the development will threaten the viability of the Savoy and Screen. Mr Anderson has sought a petition to wind up Dublin Cinema Group and liquidate its assets.

But earlier this month, at the urging of a High Court judge, the two sides agreed to engage in another attempt at mediation to resolve their differences.

The latest set of accounts for Dublin Cinema Group – signed by Mr Ward and Mr Anderson – show it had net assets of €21.3m including cash of €8.9m at the end of October 2011. It paid €160,000 in dividends to its owners in 2011.

Irish Independent

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