Thursday 27 October 2016

Windmill Lane studios 'close to break-even point in 2015'

Gordon Deegan

Published 22/10/2015 | 02:30

Tom Vaughan on the set of Jim Sheridan's 'Secret Scripture' in Inistiogue, Co Kilkenny. Photo: Pat Moore.
Tom Vaughan on the set of Jim Sheridan's 'Secret Scripture' in Inistiogue, Co Kilkenny. Photo: Pat Moore.

The chief executive of Windmill Lane Pictures, James Morris, said yesterday that there has been a real pick-up in his firm's business in the second half of this year after "a difficult year in 2014".

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Mr Morris was commenting on new accounts that show Windmill Lane Pictures recorded a €679,444 loss last year, after a loss of €273,137 in 2013.

Mr Morris said last year's loss arose from large non-cash depreciation costs of €817,851 "and our cash position is strong".

The post-production firm employs 70 people in Dublin and has recently added the movie 'Brooklyn', Jim Sheridan's 'Secret Scripture' and RTE's 'Rebellion' to its list of credits that includes the five series of 'Love/Hate' and 'The Guarantee'.

"We're in a good space. We have weathered a few difficult years but are now in a position to compete internationally," Mr Morris said

Speaking from Toronto, he said the increase in business in the second half of this year will result in the firm being "very close to break even for this year".

He added: "The first part of the year was similar to last year, but we have seen a real pick-up in the last few months and that is to do with the general pick up in the economy."

Mr Morris said that the increase in business since around July has arose from new commercial work along with new film and drama commissions.

"We survived the recession quite well and remained in a good cash position and now we have re-orientated the business to look at other markets along with the domestic one."

This includes collaborating with animation firms and engaging in more computer-generated imagery (CGI) work.

Mr Morris said staff costs "are substantial and account for over half of our costs, but this is a people business".

PAYE/PRSI payments last year jumped from €58,138 to €106,606.

The directors' report states that there will be a major reduction in depreciation charges in future years which will have a positive impact on the profitability of the company.

The firm's accumulated profits stood at €2.57m while the firm's cash reduced from €1m to €802,594.

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

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

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