Convention Centre Dublin suffers €18m revenue hit as bonuses of €453,459 approved

Revenue decline cushioned somewhat by income from the Office of Public Works

Operational revenues at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) last year plunged by 86.5 per cent or €17.2 million to €2.68 million due to the Covid-19 impact on large scale events.

All major events at the CCD since March of last year were cancelled or postponed, though the business remained active with the Oireachtas staging Dáil and Seanad sittings at the Convention Centre.

New accounts for CCD operator, Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin (SDCCD) DAC show that overall revenues reduced by 63 per cent or €18 million from a record €28.6 million in 2019 to €10.6 million last year.

The revenue decline was cushioned somewhat by income to SDCCD DAC from the owner of the centre, the Office of Public Works (OPW) declining by a much lower 8.6 per cent from €8.68 million to €7.94 million.


The convention centre recorded an operating loss of €2.94 million after the revenue drop.

Accounts for a connected Convention Centre firm, Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin (No.2) DAC show that long-term incentive plan payments (LTIP) of €453,459 were approved for directors in 2020.

Eight directors served during the year and the bonus payments to directors related to a strong operating performance for the business in the evaluation period of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

No award was made in respect of the 2020 performance and the note confirms that the bonuses will fall for payment next year.

The bonus payment provision resulted in overall directors’ pay increasing by 77 per cent from €603,769 to €1.068 million.

During March and April 2020, dividends totalling €31.25 million were paid by SDCCD to its parent companies Spencer Dock International Convention Centre DAC and HF CCD Limited. The dividend payout followed a refinancing of the company’s debt.

Commenting on the accounts, Convention Centre CEO Stephen Meehan said: "2020 was an exceptionally difficult year for the events industry throughout Ireland due to the pandemic. Our focus has been to maintain continuity and to ensure our readiness to restore normal service once public health restrictions permitted.

Mr Meehan added: “We are delighted that events have been able to return to fully seated capacity since October 22nd accompanied by strict public health precautions, and we have a very healthy pipeline of bookings filling up for 2022 and future years, reaffirming our position as a high-quality venue capable of attracting major international events.”

Staff costs for the Convention Centre business last year totalled €3.79 million as numbers employed reduced by three to 70.

The company recorded a pre-tax profit of €7.68 million last year and this was chiefly as a result of the company receiving a €12.44 million gain through interest on a financial asset.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times