Van's still the man as firm profits to tune of €900,000
IRISH music legend Van Morrison will be leading a 'Moondance' with new figures showing that his main entertainment firm enjoyed a bumper year in 2012 to record profits of over €900,000.
The stunning performance by Morrison's Exile Productions last year is testament to the Belfast singer-song writer's enduring appeal 40 years after he burst on the musical scene with the band Them.
Figures recently returned to the Companies House in the UK by the 67-year-old's Exile Productions show that accumulated profits at the firm increased by £780,358 (€912,994) last year.
Accumulated profits increased from £1.5m to £2.3m in the 12 months to the end of April.
The cash pile at Morrison's firm increased by £470,000 from £683,061 to £1.15m.
The sharp jump in accumulated profits last year is in contrast to the firm's 2010/2011 performance where profits took a dive from £2.09m to £1.53m.
One of Ireland's – and the world's – most celebrated musical artists, Morrison's earning power is underlined in separate figures from industry journal, Pollstar that show that one gig at Dublin's O2 in January 2012 grossed $900,100 (€684,518) at the box office that is split between the artist, promoter and venue.
Best known for songs 'Brown Eyed Girl', 'Sweet Thing', 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Have I Told You Lately', Morrison's 'Astral Weeks' album is widely regarded as one of the best albums of all time.
The intensely private Morrison – who is married to former Miss Ireland, Michelle Rocca – has received widespread acclaim over his long career including six Grammy Awards, a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In a recent interview, Morrison (pictured) spoke of the difficulties trying to write new material due to his fame.
He said: "It's harder to soak in your surroundings, because people are watching you. The thing about the writing process is that you have to observe other people and you have to observe situations – if people are looking at you and focusing on you, that is much more difficult to do anyway."
Mr Morrison described people focusing on him as 'unwanted attention'. He said: "Because it doesn't fit in with the writing process at all, in fact it stops it ... When you're famous, you can't escape anywhere because you are prejudged, pre-empted, people have opinions because you're famous no matter where you are."