Friday 22 March 2019

Expansion costs hit profit at Ballymaloe cookery school

Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Photo: Tony Gavin
Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Photo: Tony Gavin

Gordon Deegan

Expansion costs at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Co Cork contributed to accumulated profits dropping marginally to €2.63m at the firm last year.

New accounts show that accumulated profits at the firm that operates the cookery school declined slightly from €2.684m in the 12 months to the end of last August.

The drop in profits comes as the school increased the number it employed and invested in the company's property.

The cash pile during the year declined from €459,959 to €213,574. Darina Allen said: "There was an operational profit at the cookery school firm before depreciation and tax of €54,292. However after allowing for depreciation of €96,143 and corporation tax of €3,697, there was a retained loss of €45,548."

Ms Allen added: "The activities of the Garden Café were fully absorbed into the limited company during the year which explains the increase in staff costs. The company also paid a management charge of €48,892. "This charge did not arise in the previous year. These increases explain the results for the financial year ended 31st August 2017." The school has been operating since 1983 and its main income is its 12-week cookery course that costs entrants €12,495. It runs three times a year, and if the 60-place course is fully subscribed, it can generate revenues of €2.2m for the school per annum.

Underlining the increased activity last year, numbers employed rose from 53 to 60 while staff costs increased to €1.9m.

Ms Allen said: "We are generally upbeat about the business, and our 12-week certificate programme continues to book with students from Ireland and across the globe. We continue to offer a range of exciting courses throughout the year and are adding a new five-week cookery course to our summer schedule designed for those who cannot commit to attending our 12-week programme.

"We are also running the six-week sustainable food programme again this year which had a tremendous response in 2017. Brexit is a concern but we feel our customer base is wide enough to accommodate any problems it may present.

"The summer 12-week programme is full and was over subscribed with people from 12 nationalities participating."

Irish Independent

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