Thursday 21 September 2017

Revenues soar at promoter Desmond's UK joint venture with Live Nation

Duran Duran on stage in the Shepherds Bush Empire 02 – it is one of the venues operated by Live Nation-controlled AMG
Duran Duran on stage in the Shepherds Bush Empire 02 – it is one of the venues operated by Live Nation-controlled AMG

Gordon Deegan

Revenues at one of concert promoter Denis Desmond's UK joint ventures with Live Nation last year soared by 22pc to £43.7m (€51.9m)

That is according to new accounts filed by Academy Music Group (AMG), which show that the company recorded pre-tax profits of £6m (€7.14m) last year.

The jump in revenues arose from the firm enjoying the 12-month benefit of four venues that were added to the company portfolio in 2015.

Mr Desmond heads up MCD Productions here and through his joint venture with Live Nation, the LN Gaiety Holdings Ltd entity, he owns 26pc of AMG.

The Live Nation-controlled AMG is the leading owner and operator of live music venues in the UK and venues under its banner including the Shepherds Bush Empire 02, Brixton Academy 02 and regional venues across the UK including the O2 Academy in Leicester and the O2 Academy in Sheffield.

According to the directors' report, the firm added five venues to its portfolio in 2015 and one of those venues was disposed of in 2016.

The directors state: "During the year, the company continued to implement its management and control environment in these new venues as well as achieve synergies through sponsorship, booking of events and through its supply chain."

The directors state that the new venues in 2016 contributed £9.92m towards revenues and £931,945 to pre-tax profit.

No dividend was paid to Mr Desmond and other shareholders last year. This followed £13.64m being paid out in dividends in 2015.

AMG has been generous in paying large dividends to its owners over the past number of years paying out £40.44m between 2011 and 2015.

Last December the firm was sitting on £33m in shareholder funds. This included a cash pile of £8.8m

Numbers employed last year increased from 299 to 342.

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