Life is suite as Croke Park firm's profits double
FANS in the premium seats helped the firm that runs Croke Park to almost double profits last year to €8m.
In a stellar year for the firm that operates the 82,000-seater stadium, accounts just lodged with the Companies Office show that revenues from corporate clients increased by 10pc last year from €9.2m to €10.1m.
The figures for Pairc an Chrocaigh Teoranta & Subsidiaries show that the business from the corporate sector forms the bedrock of revenues for the stadium, accounting for 43pc of the €23.7m in stadium income last year.
Pairc an Chrocaigh markets its 87 luxury suites at corporate level in Croke Park as "a place for entertaining and fine dining".
The suites accommodate 12 to 36 guests with fantastic views of the pitch from the Hogan, Cusack and Davin stands.
Operating profit at the firm last year increased from €4.55m to €8m.
Revenues for the stadium and other related firms increased by 5pc last year from €31.5m to €33.1m.
The continuing success resulted in stadium director for Croke Park and GAA commercial director Peter McKenna being named marketeer of the year. The figures show that the group recorded pre-tax profits of €3m after it provided a €4m grant to the Ard Chomhairle of the GAA.
The stadium also increased its 'hire of facilities' revenues by 47pc last year from €3m to €4.4m.
That included the hiring of the stadium for three pop concerts: two Westlife gigs and one by the American group Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The International Eucharistic Congress was also staged at the stadium during the year.
Those enjoying corporate hospitality during big-match days at Croke Park can enjoy a private en suite bar facility; plasma TV; a private fully furnished suite and a range of hospitality catering options.
Revenues from the corporate sector also include income from premium level tickets. These are priced at €4,000 for a three-year ticket; €6,500 for a five-year ticket and €12,000 for a 10-year ticket.
According to the directors' report, the boost in corporate business arose from "a successful renewal of the expiring Davin Stand premium seats,combined with a successful launch of a new one-year premium seat ticket offering. Suite renewals were also very positive for 2012".
The directors' report states that 27 championship and league matches were staged at Croke Park last year and the stadium firm received €7.83m in rent to stage those matches, including €6.59m from Central Council.
The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation or wear-and-tear charge of €6.84m and impairment charge of €1m on property.
Numbers directly employed by the group last year increased from 31 to 35, with staff costs totalling €1.97m.
The directors state that the 2012 cost-base remained at 2011 levels, and "this is as a result of ongoing cost control and review measures constantly applied to all expenditure lines throughout the stadium".