Saturday 24 February 2018

Sell-out AC/DC gig helps Aviva Stadium firm to €3.58m operating profit

Fans of rock group AC/DC fill the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in 2015
Fans of rock group AC/DC fill the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in 2015
AC/DC in performance at The Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gordon Deegan

A sell-out concert by AC/DC helped the operators of the Aviva Stadium to operating profits of €3.58m last year.

New accounts just filed by New Stadium Designated Activity Company show that the firm achieved the profits after 600,000 paid to go to 16 events at the Aviva last year.

The much-heralded appearance of the Australian rock group at the stadium followed 2014 when no artists performed concerts at the venue.

However, the operating profits of €3.58m is a 21.5pc drop on the €4.5m operating profits recorded in 2014.

The drop in profit is explained by the Aviva firm last year staging 16 events compared to 20 events in 2014 when 650,000 people attended.

The directors state that the company traded in line with expectations last year.

Along with the AC/DC concert, the firm's two shareholders, the IRFU and the FAI, staged 15 sporting events last year.

The sporting highlight for Ireland's soccer fans was Shane Long's crucial goal against Germany that helped Ireland on the road to the Euros.

The directors' report adds that other footballing events at the stadium included other Republic of Ireland soccer fixtures, the FAI Cup Final and the Women's Senior Cup Final.

The stadium hosted six Irish rugby international fixtures, including two summer series games, in advance of the 2015 rugby World Cup.

The stadium also hosted a European Rugby Champions Cup event in December 2015 between Leinster and Toulon.

The 2015 total compares to 10 Irish rugby internationals being staged at the stadium in 2014 including three autumn series games.

The accounts show that the firm recorded a pre-tax loss of €3.3m in 2015. However, the loss took place after the firm incurred hefty non-cash depreciation charges of €10m. The revenues for the firm are not disclosed.

According to the directors' report "the increased cost base is primarily due to the increase in our annual commercial rates liability".

The firm's net assets at the end of December last totalled €171.9m. The book value of the stadium totalled €350.5m.

On the company's future developments, the directors state that "the stadium has demonstrated great flexibility in coping with a busy event schedule in 2015. The stadium company is committed to attracting and delivering high quality sporting and non-sporting events…as well as maintaining a world class facility."

The firm's cash during the year increased from €2.4m to €3.9m. Numbers employed by the stadium company last year decreased from 27 to 24 with staff costs reduced from €1.3m to €1.26m.

The IRFU last year received €750,000 in lease payments from the company for the stadium land.

Directors John Delaney of the FAI and Philip Browne of the IRFU have signed off on the accounts.

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