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Comedies help families' cinemas reel in €1.4m profits

Two Dublin cinemas owned by the Spurling and O'Gorman families served up combined profits of €1.4m in their last financial year as punters turned out to see films such as 'The Guard' and 'Bridesmaids'.

Movies@Swords recorded a pre-tax profit of €727,000 in the 12 months to the end of last August, more than twice the €296,000 it made in the previous financial year.

Movies@Dundrum's pre-tax profits declined, however, from €796,000 to €695,000 in the same period.

That figure is substantially less than the €1.85m pre-tax profit it made in the 2008 financial year.

The Swords operation cut its staff costs from just over €1.2m in the 2010 financial year to €1.08m in the latest period. The cinema reduced its staff numbers from about 86 to 58 during the year.

At Dundrum, staff costs fell from €2.07m to just under €1.9m, where staff numbers rose to 154 from 145.

Dundrum generated a gross profit of over €6.8m -- unchanged on the previous year, while at Swords the figure was €3.8m, also virtually unchanged on 2010.

The O'Gorman family owns the Ormonde Cinema in Stillorgan, Dublin, which is now let to Odeon/UCI.

The Spurling family operate a number of cinemas outside the capital at locations including Gorey, Co Wexford, and Castlebar, Co Mayo.

The US comedy 'Bridesmaids' was the highest-grossing movie at Irish cinemas last year, closely followed by 'The Guard', starring Brendan Gleeson, and the second part of the final Harry Potter instalment.

Irish Independent