The company that operates the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin swung into profit with its revenue soaring in 2022 as it put the Covid-related closures and capacity restrictions of the previous two years behind it.
Turnover quadrupled from less than €3.1 million in 2021, when it was fully closed for the first eight months, to €12.9 million last year, according to abridged accounts for Crownway Entertainment Limited filed at the Companies Office.
The company’s earnings before interest, tax and write-offs arrived at €4.6 million, compared to just €532,000 in 2021.
Operating profit reached €3.25 million, which compares to a loss of €727,000 the previous year, while its pretax loss of €1.25 million in 2021 swung into a pretax profit of €2.66 million for 2022.
The company’s net assets rose from €11 million to €13 million, the accounts show.
Turnover at the theatre last year was also higher than the €10.7 million recorded in 2019, the last full year of operation before the pandemic hit, as audiences flocked to musical productions including The Lion King, Les Misérables, My Fair Lady and Beauty and the Beast.
Some €9.95 million of the 2022 turnover related to the sale of tickets and other revenue, while €2.95 million was from the sale of food and drink.
In 2021, when the theatre was only briefly able to operate at full capacity, Crownway received a total of €789,027 from three Government support schemes for businesses affected by Covid: the temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS), the live performance support scheme and the Covid restrictions support scheme. This dropped to just €184,166 from the TWSS last year.
The company employed an average of 47 people last year, which comprised 34 management and administration staff and 13 bar supervisors. This compares to an average of 49 people the year before.
Current trading is strong, it said, with notable productions this year including Blood Brothers and the return of The Lion King, while a Christmas run of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will open next week. The line-up in 2024 includes the touring productions of Aladdin, Wicked and Hamilton.
Crownway is a private family investment company owned by husband-and-wife team John and Bernie Gallagher. It acquired the theatre in 2014 for €29.1 million and purchased the freehold on the property from Dublin City Council in 2017.
Entrepreneur Harry Crosbie opened the theatre in 2010 but lost control of the property after his loans were transferred to Nama. Global music events and venue operator Live Nation operates the 2,111-seat venue and Bord Gáis Energy holds the naming rights until 2026.