Business

Thursday 29 September 2016

Nothing hit-or-miss about Hawk Eye's margins as profits jump 36pc to €6m

Gordon Deegan

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer strikes a crucial free for Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland hurling final which Hawk Eye deemed wide. The match has since been dubbed The Hawk Eye Final.
John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer strikes a crucial free for Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland hurling final which Hawk Eye deemed wide. The match has since been dubbed The Hawk Eye Final.
With 71:26 showing and a scoreline of Kilkenny 3-22 to Tipperary 1-28 the Hawkeye result indicates a miss after referee Barry Kelly had called for a judgement after John O'Dwyer had taken a late free for Tipperary

Pre-tax profits at the technology firm that determined the fate of the 2014 hurling All-Ireland final soared last year by 36pc to £4.42m (€5.99m).

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On All-Ireland final day in September 2014, thousands of Tipperary supporters believed that John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer had won the senior hurling All-Ireland for Tipperary with a last gasp long range free.

However, the Hawk Eye technology deployed in Croke Park made its most momentous call to date when it ruled the free wide resulting in the final being a draw. It has since become known as the Hawk Eye final.

Kilkenny subsequently went on to win the replay.

Now, new accounts filed by Hawk Eye Innovations Ltd show that the firm enjoyed the leap in profits after revenues increased by 24pc going from £10m to £12.5m in the 12 months to the end of March 31 last.

The rise in business in 2014/15 was driven by a massive jump in business outside the UK. Revenues in the UK slumped from £3.6m to £3m while revenues outside the UK increased by 47pc going from £6.43m to £9.46m.

In 2014, Hawk Eye was called upon to adjudicate on 11 disputed scores at 15 hurling matches at Croke Park with the technology used five times in 30 football matches at the GAA HQ.

A spokesman for the GAA said yesterday: "The use of the technology has added to our match day experience and first and foremost its strengths lie in assisting our match officials in being as accurate in their calls for scores as they can possibly be.

He added: "No where was this more evident than with the last action of the 2014 All-Ireland senior final and for some this game will be recalled in years to come as The Hawk Eye Final."

At Croke Park, the technology involves eight high-speed cameras with the ball position triangulated using four cameras covering each end of the stadium.

The Hawk Eye technology was installed at Croke Park following 86pc of delegates at Congress voting in favour of installing the system.

The gross margin at Hawk Eye Innovations Ltd last year increased from 59pc to 68pc and the directors state that they "are satisfied that this is as a result of new, high-profile and long-term profitable business developments that achieve a higher gross profit margin than the business has previously achieved".

Hawk Eye has long enjoyed a high public profile through its ball-tracking technology for tennis.

Along with the GAA, the Sony- owned Hawk Eye also counts the Preimer League in England, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga amongst its clients.

Numbers employed increased by 22 to 88 with staff costs totalling £3m.

Irish Independent

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