National Plowing projects a loss for 2022 after combined losses of 1.25 million euros in two years affected by the pandemic


The company, which hosts the National Plowing Championships, reported combined losses of €1.25 million in two years affected by the pandemic when the event was cancelled.

New accounts filed by the National Plowing Association of Ireland show the company posted pre-tax losses of €600,353 last year when the event was canceled for the second consecutive year due to Covid-19.

The 2021 loss followed NPAI losses of €656,240 in 2020.

The cancellations decimated the association’s revenues in 2021 and 2020.

In the 12 months ended January 2022, the club recorded revenues of €105,219, after revenues of €90,990 in 2020.

In 2019 the Plowing Association recorded revenue of €5.6 million after 297,000 people attended the 88th National Plowing Championships at Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow.

Commenting on the 2021 financial performance, NPAI Deputy Secretary Anna Marie McHugh said on Monday: “The losses are what they are – the National Plowing Association is a national voluntary association with a limited guarantee – we have no shareholders and are self-funded – we receive none government grants to run the event.”

Last year the association’s administrative expenses totaled €1.1million and Ms McHugh said: “During Covid we still had to run the national association and support our club and district plowing associations.”

Ms McHugh said that running a national plowing championship costs between €6 and €7 million.

Last year’s loss reduced the club’s retained earnings from EUR 12.3 million to EUR 11.7 million.

Ms McHugh said: “The NPA has always endeavored to have enough reserves to run an event or two. This rainy day fund needed to be tapped during Covid and that’s what it was there for. The reality is that if the NPA did not have these reserves and without government funding the association would have run the risk of financial ruin due to Covid but that has not happened and we are back and thankfully as strong as ever and ever.”

Ms McHugh explained that the Covid pandemic had “a massive financial impact on the NPA as we were not eligible for the ‘events industry’ grants which would have really helped when the association had absolutely no revenue for almost three years”.

Ms McHugh said the association was eligible for the wage subsidy scheme, “so we managed to retain all our staff, which was hugely important for the association as our work is quite specialized”.

The club’s losses last year would have been far higher if ‘other operating income’ of €545,695 had not been taken into account, including €391,171 profit on the sale of assets, wage subsidy payments of €79,524 and a government grant in Amount of €75,000.

The other operating income was offset by a non-cash impairment of the investments in the amount of €165,898.

Ms McHugh said: “We are very aware of the losses – of course – it’s a lot of money and we’re looking to cut costs wherever we can this year without affecting the ‘event’ at all, but we have the reserves and they are used to produce the plowing experience exactly as we have done over the years.”

This year’s Plowing Championships will be held on September 20th, 21st and 22nd in Ratheniska, Co. Laois.

Ms McHugh explained that the association expects 300,000 visitors over the three days.

She said: “Honestly we are absolutely thrilled with the way the event is shaping up – we had no idea how our exhibitors and patrons would react to the event returning after a full three year hiatus. So far we have been overwhelmed by the demand for exhibition space and ticket sales. Already the event is bigger than ever, which we never expected.”

However, Ms McHugh does not expect the association to return to profitability this year.

She said: “No, I would not expect the Plowing Championships to turn a profit this year – hosting the world competition involves an additional cost of the order of €1.5m and there is no real financial return on it – obviously there is a Massive status attached and it’s brilliant for tourism but no financial gain for National Plowing.

She said: “Also the NPA has added 15% to exhibition costs this year in anticipation of rising costs for ongoing events, but since those rates were set in February the prices of everything have skyrocketed and inflation has just gone up – ours Expenses This year will definitely exceed our expenses, even with the record-breaking event looming this year.

“All in all, the NPA is never about profit – like I said, we are a national voluntary association and if the event breaks even the board is happy.” National Plowing projects a loss for 2022 after combined losses of 1.25 million euros in two years affected by the pandemic

Fry Electronics Team

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