That’s entertainment: Enya on song as ‘Riverdance’ profits dip

Newly filed accounts also show rough year for Rough Magic as losses widen

The company behind ‘Riverdance’ recorded a €774,095 pretax profit for the 12 months to the end of June 2016

The company behind ‘Riverdance’ recorded a €774,095 pretax profit for the 12 months to the end of June 2016


Profits more than halved for the company behind Riverdance last year, according to newly filed accounts.

Abhann Productions, the firm owned by John McColgan and Moya Doherty, recorded a €774,095 pretax profit for the 12 months to the end of June 2016. This compares to a €1.9 million profit a year earlier.

Riverdance was first performed during the interval of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest at the Point Theatre in Dublin. Since the full show’s world premiere in Ireland at the same venue on February 9th, 1995, it has been seen by more than 25 million people in 47 countries. This year alone, 75,000 patrons attended the show at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

At the end of the financial reporting period, Abhann had assets of 7.8 million and liabilities of €2 million. The company recorded an operating profit of €2.3 million with staff costs rising to €2.5 million from €2.1 million.

Revival of musical

Separately, Irish theatre group Rough Magic, which this year staged a revival of its musical The Train, which was developed by Bill Whelan, the musician behind Riverdance, saw losses widen in 2016.

Recently filed accounts reveal the company’s accumulated losses rose to €65,345 from €37,993 as income dropped from €872,307 to €528,543.

The decline in income was largely due to a big fall in box office receipts, which fell from €111,595 to €29,237 and in Arts Council-related revenues, which were down to €360,000 from €576,750 in the prior year.

Staying with the entertainment world and Agile Music Company Limited, the firm owned by singer-songwriter Enya and her co-producers Nicholas and Roma Ryan, reported a slight dip in accumulated profits last year.

Abridged accounts filed this week show accumulated profits totalled €747,576 for the 12 months to the end of June 2017, down €125,692 versus the €873,276 a year earlier.

Albums worldwide

The Co Donegal singer-songwriter, whose last recording, Dark Eye Island, was released in 2015, has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

Lastly, the Irish arm of United Cinema International (UCI), the chain that operates 11 cinemas with 77 screens in Ireland, saw profits slip last year, even as attendances rose.

The company, whose parent was acquired by AMC Entertainment Holdings late last year, recorded a 3 per cent decline in turnover to €11.4 million as profits before tax fell to €1.2 million from €1.24 million.

UCI said attendance figures in Ireland last year rose by 4.6 per cent on the back of the release of box office hits such as Bridget Jones’s Baby, Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets.