Browne’s in the black as me­dia firm makes €189,000

Irish Independent - - BUSINESS - Gor­don Dee­gan

THE me­dia firm led by vet­eran and com­bat­ive broad­caster Vin­cent Browne recorded prof­its of €188,889 last year.

New ac­counts just lodged by Vil­lage Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd with the Com­pa­nies Of­fice show that the profit for 2016 meant the Lim­er­ick man was sit­ting on ac­cu­mu­lated prof­its of €200,183 at the end of De­cem­ber last.

Browne stepped down as pre­sen­ter of the ‘Vin­cent Browne Show’ on TV3 in July af­ter a decade pre­sent­ing the show.

He is cur­rently work­ing on a TV doc­u­men­tary on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

The ac­counts show that in spite of be­ing one of the coun- try’s best known broadcasters, Vil­lage Com­mu­ni­ca­tions paid Browne a salary of €60,000 or less last year.

Browne (73) is one of the two di­rec­tors of the com­pany along with his daugh­ter, Emma. The joint pay to the two – no break­down is pro­vided – shows that the di­rec­tors last year re­ceived €60,000 in re­mu­ner­a­tion.

This fol­lowed a pay­out of €60,000 to di­rec­tors in 2015.

The com­pany has been mak­ing con­sis­tently strong prof­its in re­cent years – the profit last year fol­lows a profit of €237,413 in 2015 and €206,485 in 2014.

The ac­counts show that dur­ing the year, the firm’s cash pile al­most tripled, go­ing from €15,916 to €43,266.

Ear­lier this year, Mr Browne bought back the right to pub­lish ‘Mag­ill’ mag­a­zine – 40 years af­ter it was first launched.

In 2015, Browne’s Vil­lage Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd firm pur­chased a prop­erty and its book value at the end of last year was €780,626.

The firm took out a loan of €425,000 to fi­nance the pur­chase and the amount owed in loans last year re­duced from €425,000 to €189,010.

Browne’s lu­cra­tive con­tract with TV3 for his nightly TV show al­lowed him to put his fi­nan­cial trou­bles be­hind him.

The out­spo­ken broad­caster racked up losses of €1.8m as a re­sult of his costly ‘Vil­lage’ mag­a­zine ven­ture – Browne’s ed­i­tor­ship of the mag­a­zine ceased in 2008 and it con­tin­ues to be pub­lished to­day by Or­mond Quay Pub­lish­ing Ltd.

The share­holder funds by Vil­lage Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd at the end of De­cem­ber last to­talled €480,189 and this in­cluded €279,998 in a share premium ac­count.

In a ra­dio in­ter­view where Browne ad­mit­ted that his losses from ‘Vil­lage’ topped €1.8m, he said: “There is a buzz out of print jour­nal­ism that you don’t get in broad­cast­ing… but by God, it was costly”.”

In 2013, Browne de­clared that he was debt free for the first time in decades af­ter sell­ing his fam­ily home in south Dublin.

Vin­cent Browne’s last TV3 show, with Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar

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