Conference centre group records €6.1m profit

Sat, Dec 1, 2012, 00:00

The company that designed and built Conference Centre Dublin made a profit of €6.1 million on turnover of €20.5 million in the year to the end of February 2012, according to accounts released yesterday.

This was the first full year of trading for Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin Ltd, the entity that receives an annual subvention, from the Office of Public Works for building the docklands conference facility on behalf of the State.

To date, this company has received €91 million under a 25-year contract with the OPW. Payments are made monthly and involve amounts of €48 million annually for the first five years and €24 million a year for the following 20 years. The centre opened on August 5th 2010.

A related company called Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin (No 2) Ltd, which manages the facility on a day-to-day basis, saw its profit more than halve during the year.

This company made an after-tax profit of €50,722 in the year to the end of February 2012, compared with a surplus of €113,272 in the previous period.

While turnover rose by 19.3 per cent to €13.6 million, operating costs increased by 20.3 per cent to €13.6 million.

This reduced its pre-tax profit by 36 per cent to €72,158. A tax charge of €21,436 was deducted from that amount to give the after-tax surplus.

The centre hosted 49,948 delegates in the 12-month period, including those attending a concert for Queen Elizabeth during her State visit in May 2011.

Both companies are subsidiaries of Spencer Dock Development Company (SDDC), which is in liquidation, having been part of Treasury Holdings.

SDDC was co-owned by developers Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan and local businessman Harry Crosbie.

Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, Dermod Dwyer, chairman of Conference Centre Dublin, said no bookings had been lost as a result of concerns about the liquidation of SDDC or the collapse of Treasury Holdings, which Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett jointly owned.

“We are a self-contained company and always have been,” he said. “We are not Treasury Holdings. “

He said the future of the parent company and its relationship with subsidiary entities was a matter for the liquidator, the lenders and the OPW.

All the banking covenants relating to the convention centre were being met, he added.