Rollercoaster year for Tayto Park as revenue rises but profit dips

Pretax profit declines 7% as owner reveals plan for hotel and to extend naming rights deal

Gross earnings at the company that operates Tayto Park increased by 2 per cent to €6.45 million last year.

Gross earnings at the company that operates Tayto Park increased by 2 per cent to €6.45 million last year.

 

Pretax profit at the company that operates Tayto Park last year declined by 7 per cent to €3.4million in spite of a 6 per cent rise in revenue to €17.5 million.

Accounts for Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd show that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year increased by 2 per cent to €6.45 million.

Mr Coyle stated that Tayto Park, best known for its wooden rollercoaster, recorded the increase in revenue in spite of visitor numbers being down 20 to 25 per cent for two weeks at the height of the hot spell during the 2018 summer heatwave. In total, about 603,000 patrons paid an entrance fee to the park during the year.

“People went to the beach during those couple of weeks and rightly so,” Tayto Park’s owner Ray Coyle said.

Mr Coyle revealed that the German owned-makers of Tayto, Intersnack, pays Tayto Park “a high six-figure sum” each year for naming rights to the Co Meath theme park.

The deal is due to expire in 2021 and Mr Coyle expressed the hope that the two sides could agree a new deal. “I believe that they get good value for money as we do a lot of marketing for the theme park,” he said.

Mr Coyle controlled Largo Foods, the maker of Tayto crisps, before Intersnack took it over.

Visitors to Tayto Park are given a free bag of Tayto crisps on exiting, with about 700,000 bags handed out each year, Mr Coyle said.

He added that Tayto Park pays production price for the bag of crisps, which is 15c to 16c per bag.

Hotel

Mr Coyle revealed that if Tayto Park secures permission for its planned new €15.5 million ‘Coaster 2021’ project, it will immediately apply to build a 175-bedroom hotel at the site.

Tayto Park, which employs 440 staff in peak season, previously withdrew plans for a 275-bedroom hotel after the National Roads Authority expressed concerns about the development. Mr Coyle said that the new plan would be smaller and would be a wooden hotel.

In a bid to increase revenue, Tayto Park staged a family FunFest last June. However, Mr Coyle said the two-day event “was not financially successful” and there are no plans to host another one.

At the end of last year, Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd had accumulated profits of €18.8 million. The company’s cash pile last year increased from €1.3 million to €2.8 million.