Friday 20 September 2019

Pitch firm Support in Sport guarantees Irish presence at 2018 football World Cup in Russia

James McClean celebrates putting Martin O’Neill’s men within touching distance of the World Cup Photo: Sportsfile
James McClean celebrates putting Martin O’Neill’s men within touching distance of the World Cup Photo: Sportsfile

Gordon Deegan

Ireland's presence in next summer's Football World Cup in Russia is still up in the air but one Irish firm that will be definitely be there is Sligo-headquartered Support in Sport.

New accounts filed by the company's UK arm confirm its presence at next year's finals and show that revenues at the Support in Sport Group last year soared by 38pc to £25m (€27.8m)

Pre-tax profits at the company, led by George Mullan, declined by 25pc to £1.18m (€1.3m).

The reduced profit last year was as a result of cost of sales increasing by 46pc to £21.3m while administrative expenses increased by 30pc to £3m.

The revenues and profits of the UK-based firm represent a significant portion, but not all of the business's global revenues.

The directors' report states that the company designs and installs pitches and its clients include high-profile football clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Chelsea.

The company's clients also include the European rugby union champions Saracens, and the Rugby Football Union and Football Association in England.

It also supplies "pitches for the Africa Cup of Nations, the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia, the European Champions League and Six Nations Rugby".

The directors state that the company has installed pitches from Azerbaijan to Barnsley and Angola to Dubai.

The directors state that the group aims to grow income each year and therefore profitability by maintaining its first-class reputation within the industry for pitch installations and by continuing to improve the quality of artificial grass produced by developing new and improved products.

On the company's future developments, the directors state that the group believes that it can continue to benefit from the momentum that has built over the past years and throughout 2016 to drive growth forward in 2017.

They state that the business "expects to be able to achieve, and has targeted further increase in turnover and profit for the current year".

Shareholder funds at the end of last December totalled £3.9m while the company's cash pile almost doubled to £1m.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash deprecation costs of £340,763.

The vast proportion of revenues took place in the UK with £23.65m or 92pc of income.

Numbers employed increased from 70 to 90 with staff costs going up from £2.4m to £2.86. Directors' remuneration increased from £165,049 to £189,218.

The directors state that they pride themselves "on our high levels of satisfaction" and will continue to strive for excellence.

They state that they can cater for all site conditions.

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