Pre-tax profits at the company that operates Tayto Park last year declined by 7% to €3.37m in spite of an increase in revenues.

New accounts for Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd show that the company recorded the drop in pre-tax profits as revenues increased by 6% from €17.53m to €18.7m.

The company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) last year increased by 2% from €6.32m to €6.45m.

Last year, around 603,000 patrons paid entrance to the park and in an interview, owner of Tayto Park, Raymond Coyle stated that he was pleased with the performance of last year.

Mr Coyle said that Tayto Park recorded the increase in revenues in spite of visitor numbers being down 20 to 25% for two weeks at the height of the hot spell during the 2018 Summer heatwave.

He said: "People went to the beach during those couple of weeks and rightly so." However, Mr Coyle said that Tayto Park - which employs 440 at peak season - was able to make up for the drop in numbers during that August. 

He revealed that the German owned-makers of Tayto, Intersnack  pay Tayto Park "a high six figure sum" each year for the Tayto name on the park. That deal is due to expire in 2021 and it is hoped that both sides can agree a new deal.

Mr Coyle said: "I believe that they get good value for money as we do a lot of marketing for the theme park."

He said that those exiting Tayto Park are given a free bag of Tayto crisps and he said that the park gives away around 700,000 bags each year. Tayto Park pays production price for the Tayto crisp bag which is 15c to 16c per bag.

Mr Coyle revealed that if Tayto Park secures planning permission for its planned new €15.5m 'Coaster 2021' project, Tayto Park will immediately seek planning for a new 175 bedroom hotel at the site.

Tayto Park withdrew plans for a 275 bedroom hotel after the national roads authority had expressed concerns a number of years ago. Mr Coyle said that the new plan will be much smaller and will be a wooden hotel.

Last June, in a bid to increase revenues, Tayto Park staged a family FunFest over two days. However, Mr Coyle said that the two day event "was not financially successful" and there are no plans for a FunFest next year.

At the end of last year, Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd had accumulated profits of €18.77m. The company’s cash pile last year increased from €1.3m to €2.8m.