Monday 22 January 2018

Desmond gets €5.4m shareholder payout

Denis Desmond said last week that the music event would not be returning this year
Denis Desmond said last week that the music event would not be returning this year

Gordon Deegan

Concert promoter Denis Desmond has added to his fortune by receiving a sizeable chunk of a €21m dividend from the UK music venue business he co-owns.

New accounts show that Academy Music Group Ltd last year paid a dividend of £17.23m (€20.92m) to its shareholders.

Mr Desmond – through his joint venture with Live Nation – owns 26pc of Academy Music and would have received over €5.4m from the payout.

When asked to comment on the windfall, Mr Desmond said: "We got a few bob last year. It makes up for the other ones.

"We did well – it was a good year."

The dividend received by Mr Desmond is in addition to the £9.58m (€11m) he shared in dividend payouts from his other UK enterprise, Festival Republic in 2012 and 2011.

The accounts for Academy Music Group Ltd show that the business sustained a slight decline in pre-tax profits last year to £4.3m (€5.2m) – down from pre-tax profits of £4.46m (€5.4m) in 2012.

The business operates from 19 venues across the UK, including the O2 Brixton Academy and the O2 at Shepherd's Bush Empire.

Mr Desmond said that he was "very happy" with how the Academy Music business performed last year. He said: "We have a great team."

Mr Desmond added: "It is a good, solid business and live music is performing well in the UK at the moment."

The MD of Dublin-based MCD said that the Academy Music business continues to perform strongly in 2014 with revenues up around 5pc on 2013.

Last week, MCD announced that musical festival Oxygen would not be returning this year.

He said: "There is no point putting on something just for the sake of it. If we can identify a good line-up for next year, we will run it."

Last year, Academy Music's operating profits increased 2pc to €3.62m.

However, income from fixed asset investments totalling £232,500 (€282,350) and net interest receivable of £452,504 (€549,541) added to the firm's profits.

The dividend pay-out at the Live Nation majority-owned firm last year reduced the firm's accumulated profits from £39.44m (€47.9m) to £26.89m (€32.6m).

The business's shareholder funds stood at £28.92m (€35.1m) including cash of £7.3m (€8.8m).

A note attached to the accounts shows the firm last year got sponsorship income of £3.97m (€4.82m) from Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd.

Irish Independent

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