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BOX offices successes at the Abbey, including Frank McGuinness's dramatisation of The Dead by James Joyce, contributed to the theatre turning a €250,000 profit.

The national theatre returning to profit in 2013 follows two years of operating losses at the Abbey.

Operating losses had increased more than three-fold to €1.4m, mainly due to exceptional costs of €969,393 relating to the Abbey closing down its pension scheme.

The statements point out that the Abbey is on target to record a €251,000 surplus for 2013.

The news of the theatre returning to profit coincides with the Arts Council confirming that it is seeking consultants to carry out an independent review of the operations of the Abbey that will include staffing and costs.

The review, which is to be complete by April, has been welcomed by Abbey director Fiach MacConghail, who said it "will increase the Arts Council's understanding of how we plan and operate our business and what it takes to deliver on the scale that we do currently".