O2 operator’s profits down last year despite sell-out shows

Profits at world’s fourth best-attended music arena hit in 2012 by an exceptional cost related to writing off intercompany balances and falling attendances

Sold-out concerts by One Direction and Van Morrison at Dublin’s 02 last year were not enough to prevent the group operating the venue incurring a 18 per cent drop in pretax profits to £4.99 million (€5.82 million).

According to accounts for UK-based Apollo Leisure Group Ltd (ALG), revenue fell 3.7 per cent from £16.1 million to £15.5 million in the 12 months to December 31st last, with pretax profits dropping from £6 million to £4.9 million.

The only operating subsidiaries of the firm, which is owned by Live Nation, are Dublin-based Amphitheatre Ireland Ltd, which operates the O2, and Live Nation Ireland Holdings Ltd, an investment holding company that receives dividends from Amphitheatre Ireland Ltd.

According to music industry publication Pollstar, 620,555 people attended the 14,500-capacity venue last year, making it the world's fourth best-attended music arena.


Pollstar reported that 87 O2 shows last year grossed more than $41 million (€31.3 million), with receipts shared between venue, promoter and artist.

The O2’s gross receipts do not include revenue it generates from ancillary sales at shows.

An exceptional cost of £630,669 related to writing off intercompany balances during 2012 hit profits. Average attendance fell last year to 83 per cent from 89 per cent capacity in 2011.

The O2’s biggest draw last year was comedian Michael McIntyre, who performed to 35,438 people in fours shows that grossed more than $2 million (€1.53 million).

The two most lucrative shows were those of singer-songwriter Paul Simon, who grossed $2.09 million (€1.6 million) last July. Van Morrison staged the most lucrative show by an Irish artist, grossing $900,100 (€689,500) last January.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times