Tuesday 25 July 2017

Pre-tax profits slump at Paddy Cosgrave's Web Summit

Paddy Cosgrave owns 81pc of the Web Summit group
Paddy Cosgrave owns 81pc of the Web Summit group

Gordon Deegan

Expansion costs at the group that operates the Web Summit resulted in pre-tax profits tumbling by 74pc to €230,302 in 2015.

That is according to new accounts just filed by Paddy Cosgrave's Manders Terrace Ltd which show that the group's gross profit in 2015 increased from €6.24m to €6.9m.

The set of accounts covers the period when Mr Cosgrave staged the final Web Summit in Dublin before making the controversial decision to relocate the event to Lisbon in Portugal.

The group's pre-tax profits decreased from €896,989 to €230,302. The new figures show that the scaling-up of the business in 2015, with its workforce increasing by 53pc from 69 to 106, put a dent on profits.

The expansion in the workforce resulted in staff costs increasing from €3.7m to €4.26m.

This contributed to administrative expenses increasing by 24pc from €5.364m to €6.675m.

The profit also takes account of non-cash deprecation costs of €379,318.

The directors describe the principal activity of the company is to organise and manage all types of events and act as promotional consultants and event advisors for the business and technology community.

At the end of December 2015, the company had shareholder funds of €1.65m that included accumulated profits of €268,798. The firm's cash during the year declined from €2.5m to €1.3m.

The new accounts show that the three directors behind the Web Summit - Paddy Cosgrave, Daire Hickey and David Kelly -shared combined pay of €371,749 in 2015.

That's an increase of 29pc on the directors' pay of €288,814 in 2014.

The accounts show that through their own firms, Mr Cosgrave has an 81.03pc shareholding in Manders Terrace with David Kelly having a 11.97pc share and Daire Hickey having a 7pc share.

The firm recorded an after-tax profit in 2015 of €127,771 after paying corporation tax of €102,531.

More than 50,000 delegates attended the company's various events in 2015.

A total of 42,000 people from 134 countries came to Dublin in November 2015 for that year's Web Summit and listened to 1,000 speakers.

Earlier this year, the Web Summit announced the creation of a further 40 jobs over the coming year.

In 2016, more than 53,000 people from more than 166 countries flew to Lisbon for its Web Summit, including over 20,000 companies.

Around 60,000 are expected to attend the event this year.

Irish Independent

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