Redundancy costs and drop in revenue hit greyhound profits
Redundancies and organisational restructuring costs totalling €488,575 at the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) contributed to group operating profits halving last year to €1.6m.
According to the IGB 2017 annual report, the board sustained the drop in operating profits after revenues from racing activities declined by 20pc from €28.27m to €22.7m.
The accounts show that seven staff shared €358,477 in termination benefits during the year.
In addition, the accounts show that interim CEO Dr Sean Brady was paid €117,075 (including Vat) in fees between January and the end of August 2017.
The annual report states that €23m from the sale of Harold's Cross stadium has allowed the board to repay all bank loans in full along with accrued interest. In his report, IGB chairman Phil Meaney said that 2017 "will be a turning point for our industry". He said that difficult decisions were necessary in 2017 and that for the past seven years the IGB's legacy debt has acted as "a financial straitjacket on our industry".
IGB CEO Gerald Dollard - who took up his post on September 11, 2017 - reports that attendances at greyhound events in 2017 totalled 514,546, down on the 636,914 attendance in 2016. Mr Dollard said the 2017 attendances were affected by the 21-week closure of Shelbourne Park greyhound stadium and this contributed to the number of meetings reducing from 1,675 to 1,566.
The average attendance per meeting in 2017 was 329, compared to 380 in 2016.
The IGB recorded a pre-tax profit of €310,287 after non-cash depreciation of €2.17m and other items are taken into account. Shareholder funds at the IGB last year totalled €30.38m.
Numbers employed reduced from 243 to 225 with staff costs totalling €10.16m.