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Abbey in the red after posting €340,000 loss

Abbey in the red after posting €340,000 loss

The Abbey Theatre plunged into the red last year due to restructuring costs and a 12pc drop in box office receipts to record a loss of €340,196.

Accounts just filed with the Companies Office show that the theatre suffered the loss after posting a €240,376 profit in 2010 – a negative swing of €580,572.

The accounts confirm that restructuring costs of €155,799 in redundancy payments as part of the final phase of the theatre's restructuring plan, which involved 26 job losses, contributed to the loss.

Abbey finance director Declan Cantwell said last year's loss "was anticipated and planned for, taking into account the restructuring costs and the Abbey having its Arts Council funding cut by 30pc since 2008".

The figures show that the salary of chief executive Fiach Mac Conghail was cut by 11pc from €120,382 in 2009 to €107,140 last year. His total remuneration last year, including pension contributions of €12,857, amounted to €119,997.

Mr Cantwell said that extensive overseas touring of Abbey productions in 2011 contributed to the loss and touring had been scaled back this year.

In an interview, he said the Abbey had reserves of €1.45m and that its overall financial health was "good".

"We have applied some vigour in making sure that we don't over-extend ourselves," he said.

Mr Cantwell said 120,000 people last year paid to see performances at the Abbey and Peacock theatres.

He said that a drop in the number of performances, average ticket yield and attendance contributed to box office receipts falling from €2.79m to €2.45m.

He would not be drawn on whether the Abbey would record a loss or profit this year.

Irish Independent