Lahinch Golf Club swings further into the black
One of the country's most exclusive golf clubs – Lahinch Golf Club – "steadied the ship" last year as profits jumped by 22pc to €355,649.
According to Lahinch Golf Club's annual report, the 122-year-old club recorded a surplus of €355,649 in 2013 compared to a surplus of €291,947 in 2012.
The links club counts Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell, multi-major winner Phil Mickelson and broadcaster Terry Wogan amongst its members and the figures show that the club's finances were boosted by a 9pc increase in green-fee income to €1.235m.
A report presented by club captain Eamon Foley to the club's AGM yesterday, said: "The club is in an excellent place, having coming through some difficult times."
Mr Foley said the club's surplus for last year showed that "we have steadied the ship and the club is now on a sound, sustainable financial footing".
He said: "2013 saw a successful year for Lahinch Golf Club building on the positivity of 2012."
Mr Foley said that the 9pc increase in green fee income last year "reflects a strengthening overseas golf tourism market. Indeed, it is our view that this tourism market will continue to strengthen and our advance green fee bookings for 2014 are already 14pc ahead of last year."
Mr Foley said that "a reduction in income from membership subscriptions was more than compensated for by the increase in green-fee income".
The income generated from members' subscriptions last year declined from €1.054m to €990,033.
The club sustained losses of €1m over 2008 and 2009 as a result of a collapse in green-fee income, however, Mr Foley said: "We have a strong balance sheet, free of borrowings, with a substantial contingency fund to cushion against future shocks or economic downturns."
Mr Foley confirmed that the club had put in place a special committee to manage the bid strategy for the adjoining FCA barracks being sold by the Department of Defence.
Prior to 2013, the club lost 500 members as a result of the recession since 2009.
Mr Foley said that in 2013 "our overall membership has more or less stabilised. While subscription income fell by 6pc, this is more a reflection of membership re-categorisation than falling numbers and we are now seeing, for the first time in a number of years, increasing interest and demand from those wishing to apply for membership of the club".