Friday 19 January 2018

Mrs Brown helps put Irish cinema group in the black

'Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie'
'Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie'

Gordon Deegan

'Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie' and Tom Cruise's 'Edge of Tomorrow' helped to more than treble operating profits at the Ward-family controlled Dublin Cinema Group (DCG) last year.

New figures lodged by the group show that operating profits rose from €278,942 to €917,269 in the 12 months to the end of October 31 last.

The rise in profits took place after the year's biggest movies were released before October, including three of the four top grossing movies in Ireland in 2014: 'Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie' (€3.8m), 'The Lego Movie' (€3.4m) and 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (€2.5m).

The firm's gross profit rose by 16pc from €2.457m to €2.65m while the firm's administrative expenses fell by 20pc from €2.17m to €1.73m.

The Ward family owns the Savoy and Screen cinemas and according to the directors report, they "note the risks to business due to the continuing economic recession. But they confidently think the company will maintain profitability in the coming year."

The firm last year recorded pre-tax profits of €950,737 compared to a profit of €18.6m in 2013.

However, the pre-tax profit in 2013 arose from the firm booking a gain of more than €18m when the Wards sold their interest in a Cork multiplex to the Anderson family, who were partners of the Wards before a legal split in 2013.

The Wards and Andersons controlled about half of the Irish cinema market between them until they went their separate ways in 2013 with DCG the lynchpin of the combined operations.

Leo Ward and Kevin Anderson who were half-brothers, first went into business together in the 1940s.

The extended families fell out over plans by the Andersons to open a new cinema in Dublin to compete with their joint operations.

The Wards and other cinema owners here benefit from Ireland having the highest cinema admissions per capita in the EU and have done so since records began in 1995.

The firm's shareholder funds totalled €41.26m. This included cash of €3.68m and financial assets of €10.91m.

Non-cash deprecation costs total €190,958.

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