Saturday 20 October 2018

Gaybo toasts turning 84 as company funds climb to over €600K

Broadcaster Gay Byrne, whose company Gabbro Ltd enjoyed profits of more than €10,000 in 2016. Photo: Mark Condren
Broadcaster Gay Byrne, whose company Gabbro Ltd enjoyed profits of more than €10,000 in 2016. Photo: Mark Condren

Gordon Deegan

Shareholder funds at the media firm owned by Ireland's most celebrated broadcaster, Gay Byrne, passed the €600,000 mark in 2016.

Filings lodged by Byrne's Gabbro Ltd with the Companies Office show that shareholder funds - largely made up of accumulated profits generated over the years - increased to €602,634 at the end of 2016.

Current assets - largely made up of cash - increased from €496,105 to €576,176.

Byrne, who celebrated his 84th birthday on Sunday, presented 'The Late Late Show' for 37 years before stepping down in 1999. He continued to work in broadcasting, including the successful 'Meaning of Life' TV interview series and a popular show on Lyric FM.

The filings for Gabbro Ltd show the firm had a profit of €10,988 in 2016, which followed a profit of €25,789 in 2015.

PENSION

The company also benefited in 2016 from the transfer of realised profit of €11,213.

The increases in profit in 2016 and 2015 were more modest than those of €52,223 in 2014 and €87,571 in 2013.

In an interview this year, Byrne spoke with RTE broadcaster Ray D’Arcy about his 2016 diagnosis for prostate cancer and the eight rounds of chemotherapy that followed.

Gay said he was “totally wrong” not to take a year off “to nurse myself” rather than continue to try to fit other things into his schedule while also undergoing treatment.

“I regret the amount of time I gave to this place. I should have taken time to do other things,” he said.

The solid financial performance of the firm in 2016 and 2015 shows Byrne has moved on from the financial troubles he went through as a result of the economic crisis when his pension was wiped out.

“I never had a pension in RTE so we invested in what we believed were blue chip stocks, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo – and all of that has been wiped out,” he said.

His loss on his shares and investments was the second jolt to his finances.

In 1987, the Dubliner had to rebuild his finances after learning that his life savings entrusted to his friend and accountant, the late Russell Murphy, had disappeared.

His losses from that episode are estimated to have been more than €200,000.

Irish Independent

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