Tuesday 25 June 2019

Building a business umpire as Hawk Eye profits hit €6.5m

Decisions: Hawk Eye is a key part of top GAA matches, including the recent All Ireland hurling final between Galway and Limerick
Decisions: Hawk Eye is a key part of top GAA matches, including the recent All Ireland hurling final between Galway and Limerick

Gordon Deegan

It's a big 'Tá' for the tech firm that decides questionable points in top GAA matches as Hawk Eye's pre-tax profits rose by 31pc to £5.87m (€6.5m) last year.

The technology has become an integral part of the big match occasions at Croke Park and Semple Stadium and the company's deal with the GAA has contributed to revenues rising by 44pc from £22.4m to £32.m in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

Hawk Eye Innovations Ltd more than doubled its revenues in the UK last year - from £3.84m to £9.05m - with revenues from 'Rest of world' rising from £18.55m to £23.15m.

In 2016, the GAA's use of Hawk Eye extended to Semple Stadium in Thurles.

First used to analyse decisions in cricket, Hawk Eye is now in over 20 sports. Every year it covers 20,000 games or events across 500-plus stadiums in over 90 countries.

According to the directors' report, the firm has had a successful year. "Revenue growth is mainly due to the winning of new contracts which also drive the small decline in gross profit margin," it said.

"In terms of profitability, the operating margin has remained relatively consistent showing that there is enhanced investment in our support service to facilitate sustainable growth."

During last year, the Sony- owned Hawk Eye's gross margin profit fell from 44pc to 40pc. The directors anticipate that the company will continue to trade profitably in 2019.

"This will be driven by the globalisation of the brand where the company will both sell our existing services, but also develop new offerings to a range of new customers and sports," the report said.

"Coupled with high operational standards the company hopes to replicate the success achieved in existing regions."

The Hawk Eye firm last year spent £1.5m on research and development. The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of £2.6m.

The numbers employed rose from 176 to 224, while staff costs increased from £6.8m to £9.6m.

Irish Independent

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