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IMI, the trainer of Ireland's top managers, finally turns a profit


The Irish Management Institute (IMI), the organisation which has shown top Irish executives how to run their businesses, has managed to make a profit for the first time since the economic crisis started in 2007, during which time it has racked up hefty losses.

"The modest but encouraging outcome resulted from the continued emphasis on fixed cost reduction and profitable revenue growth," according to the blue-chip educators.

The IMI is run and advised by some of the most highly regarded people executives to grace the Irish business world in recent years.

It is chaired by former IDA head and Tesco chairman Sean Dorgan, who has also sat on boards at Ulster Bank, Fineos and Bombardier. Over the last two years the board has included Microsoft's Paul Rellis, Eircom's Carolan Lennon, former Eircom boss Phil Nolan, Deloitte's Brendan Jennings and former ESB chief executive Padraig McManus.

The IMI's governing council is chaired by Project Management International's Pat McGrath and includes former KPMG managing partner Terence O'Rourke and Irish Water's Michael McNicholas.

The IMI was hammered by the economic crisis as businesses pulled in their horns and cut back on their spending on items such as executive training or development programmes.

A major pension issue also weighed heavily on the finances, with IMI having racked up a net liabilities of over €2m and a revenue deficit of more than €16m during the downturn.

The changing fortunes of the IMI somewhat mirror those of the economy. The improvement in business and consumer confidence has seen purse strings loosened.

The IMI reported increased revenues, generating €9.35m up from €7.9m a year earlier as it ramped up its training and "invested in superior programme design and development of closer customer relations."

The numbers of people attending course and training has risen. However the IMI now looks set to merge with UCC to create a more extensive educational facility for Ireland's business leaders.

Last month it emerged that management at UCC had greenlighted a merger with the IMI in a €20.5m deal. A planned merger between the two bodies collapsed in 2009 because of the financial crisis.

UCC will buy the IMI Campus in Sandyford in a €18m deal bankrolled by AIB funding the repayments through a leaseback to IMI. It will also spend around €2.5m refurbishing the complex. The educational institutions were advised by PwC and Deloitte.

Sunday Indo Business