Sunday 15 September 2019

€15m shades of green: Author James sees profits soar

Sex sells: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in the ‘Fifty Shades’ film trilogy
Sex sells: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in the ‘Fifty Shades’ film trilogy

Gordon Deegan

Irish moviegoers and RTÉ last year added to the wealth of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author EL James as pre-tax profits soared by 91pc to €15m at her company.

Figures from Nielsen Bookscan show sales of the erotic book series have generated more than €4m in sales here since 2011 and the movie spin-offs and TV showings ensure James continues to rake in millions.

New figures lodged with Companies House in the UK show her firm, Fifty Shades Ltd, recorded the massive surge in profits to £13.55m (€15m) for the 12 months to the end of October last after revenues increased 50pc from £10.2m (€11.2m) to £15.4m (€17.2m).

The firm's pre-tax profits for 2017 totalled £7m. The accounts show James pocketed £6.9m in dividends last year and this followed a dividend payout of £5.25m in 2017. James received dividends of £10.25m from her firm in 2016; £4.83m in 2015 and £2.64m in 2014.

RTÉ paid for the rights to screen 'Fifty Shades of Grey' last July while moviegoers across the country paid at the box office to see the final instalment of the movie trilogy, 'Fifty Shades Freed' starring Northern Ireland's Jamie Dornan.

The accounts for her firm show that it was sitting on accumulated profits of £62m (€69.5m) at the end of October last, including a cash pile of £39m (€43.7m).

The directors state that "the company had a successful year during which it continued to receive royalties from the book and film".

Since the first book was published in 2011, the series has sold 125 million copies around the world.

The first, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', has sold 200,000 copies in Ireland generating €1.6m in sales.

Irish Independent

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