Revenues at the tech firm that decides questionable points in top GAA games took a "significant” hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.
New accounts for Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd which show pre-Covid, the company’s pre-tax profits soared more than threefold to £11.06m (€12.78m) in the 12 months to the end of March last.
Hawk-Eye’s technology has become an integral part of the major GAA occasions at Croke Park over the last number of years and the accounts show that revenues at the UK based firm increased by 23pc to £50.5m in the 12-months period.
The directors said that the company enjoyed the surge in business thanks to VAR (Video Assisted Referee) technology and the staging of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Cricket World Cup in the year under review.
However, they said that since the end of March last, Covid-19 has resulted in the cancellation and postponement of many sporting events which significantly affected the company’s revenues during the period.
They said that it is anticipated that such disruption may continue in future.
The company’s Irish business has been hammered by Covid-19, resulting in an almost 50pc drop in the use of Hawk-Eye technology at top GAA matches last year.
A spokesman for the GAA confirmed yesterday that last year Hawk-Eye was used for 28 GAA matches during 17 match days at Croke Park along with zero GAA match days at Semple Stadium.
This compared to Hawk-Eye’s 2019 deployment to cover a total of 56 GAA matches – 45 matches across 24 match days at Croke Park and 10 matches across six days at Thurles.
The spokesman said the reason for the reduction in 2020 "would be due to the restructuring of the GAA competitions with fewer games played".
The GAA agrees terms with Hawkeye on a rolling annual basis before the commencement of the season, he said.
The use of VAR continues to cause weekly controversy in the English Premier League this season and the directors’ report said that key successes up to the end of March last were the global growth of VAR as well as growth in Smart Reply services.
A breakdown shows that revenues for the UK and Ireland last year decreased by 25pc £7.2m to the end of March last.
Revenues in Europe increased by 27.5pc to £20.47m while ‘Rest of World’ revenues increased by 44pc to £10.8m. Revenues in Asia totalled £7.6m and in the Americas reached £4.3m.
The Hawkeye technology – involving eight high-speed cameras with the ball position triangulated using four cameras covering each end of the stadium – was installed at Croke Park following its approval by 86pc of GAA Congress delegates.