Losses at Godolphin Ireland narrow to €8.36m as revenues surge

Stud operation cites improvement in roster of stallions

Losses at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's thoroughbred horse racing stable Godolphin fell by 22 per cent to €8.36 million last year.

The reduction in losses at the stud operation came as revenues at Godolphin Ireland Ltd surged by 29.5 per cent from €21.72 million to €27.68 million in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The company said that the revenue increase was due to the improved stallion roster and the introduction of new stallions in 2020.


This contributed to Godolphin Ireland Ltd’s ‘nomination income’ increasing by 53 per cent from €11.46 million to €17.56 million last year.


Godolphin’s operation in Ireland comprises of five farms in Co Kildare, one in Co Meath and two in Co Tipperary and numbers employed by Godolphin last year totalled 237.

The headquarters for the operation here is Kildangan Stud, just outside Kildare town.

Kildangan itself is home to the Irish-based Darley stallions and the farm extends to almost 1,500 acres with combined accommodation for more than 400 horses.

Ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is one of the world's richest leaders and is one of the most famous names in the world of horse racing.

However, in recent months, Sheikh Al Maktoum has been at the centre of controversy over concerns for the welfare and whereabouts of one of his daughters, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum.

The case around Princess Latifa was recently the subject of a BBC Panorama documentary and last month the UN called for the UAE to provide "concrete" proof of life for the princess.

Losses at Godolphin Ireland Ltd in 2020 follows losses of €10.77 million in 2019 and losses of €9.4 million in 2018.

A major contributor to the losses was the high operating lease rentals of €11.88 million in 2020 and €6.9 million in 2019.

Staff costs totalled €12.37 million while key management personnel were paid €931,851 last year.


The principal activity of the group is that of stud, arable and livestock farming and the directors state that the business has had limited exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with the nomination income of €17.56 million, Godolphin Ireland  recorded ‘keep fees’ income of €8.25 million, farm income of €1.03 million, breeding rights of €675,000 and leasing income of €154,792.

The loss takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €2.62 million.

The loss last year resulted in Godolphin Ireland having accumulated losses of €181 million at the end of last year and a shareholders’ deficit of €153.22 million.

The directors said that Godolphin Ireland has received written confirmation of continued support from a group company, Reliance Holdings Ltd and that it will settle all third party liabilities.

At the end of December last, Godolphin Ireland owed €41 million to Reliance Holdings Ltd and owed another €74 million to another connected company, Agroyo Ltd.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times