Wednesday 13 December 2017

School's profits up by €100,000 as Ballymaloe dishes out accounts

Darina and Rachel Allen pictured in a photoshoot for the Ballymaloe Cookery School
Darina and Rachel Allen pictured in a photoshoot for the Ballymaloe Cookery School

Gordon Deegan

Darina Allen, director of the fabled Ballymaloe Cookery School, said that 2016 "was a really good year" as the business enjoyed profits of over €100,000.

Foodies come from all over the globe - and Ireland - each year to the establishment to take the 12-week Ballymaloe Cookery School course.

Ms Allen said yesterday that there are 13 nationalities on the current course which is fully subscribed.

"Our aim over the years has always been 'to promise less and give more'," she added.

"I love the work and I love teaching. We don't have anyone employed in marketing - our satisfied customers are the ones who do our marketing for us."

Ms Allen was commenting on new accounts which show that profits at the school increased by €104,486 in the 12 months to the end of August 31 last. This followed profits of €140,609 in the prior 12 months and in recent years the business has shown consistently strong profits.

The accounts just filed by Ballymaloe Cookery School Ltd with the Companies Office show that its accumulated profits increased from €2.579m to €2.684m.

The company's cash pile during the year decreased from €780,109 to €459,959.

The school has been operating since 1983 and the main driver is its cookery course that costs entrants €11,395.

It runs three times every year and if the 60-place course is fully subscribed, it can generate revenues of €2m for the school per year.

The next course starts at the end of April and many participants are considering a career change into the culinary world.

Along with the intensive course, the Cookery School offers a range of other courses ranging from 'Entertaining with Darina and Rachel Allen' and 'Spring Foraging with Darina Allen'.

Ms Allen said that the school benefited last year from the economy growing here.

Underlining the increased activity at the school, numbers employed rose from 49 to 53 while staff costs increased from €1.2m to €1.5m.

Pay to directors decreased from €175,481 to €154,64 - that include pension payments of 29,810.

The accounts put a value of €2.97m on the firm's fixed assets while the amount owed to the firm increased from €178,496 to €207,222.

Irish Independent

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