The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic last year took a large bite out of Tayto Park's income as revenues plunged by 82%.

Owner of Tayto Park, Ray Coyle confirmed on Tuesday the sharp percentage drop in 2020 revenues after pointing out that the country's most popular theme park was open only for 12 weeks in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Mr Coyle said they probably broke even, as they were open for the busiest two months of the year - July and August. 

He was commenting on new accounts for Tayto Park operator, Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd which show that pre-tax profits decreased by 26% to €2.47m in 2019 due to higher costs.

Pre-tax profits reduced for the visitor attraction in spite of revenues increasing marginally from €18.7m to €18.83m in 2019.

The 2019 figures "are a good set of results. I was happy with them. The business was going in the right direction," said Mr Coyle.

He stated that the earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2019 at €5.8m "were very good".

Mr Coyle said that he is "very hopeful" that Tayto Park can re-open for longer this year when Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

A decision by An Bord Pleanala is due on Tayto Park's €15.5m roller-coaster over the next number of weeks and Mr Coyle stated that he remains "very confident" that the roller-coaster will secure planning permission.

Last year, Meath County Council granted planning permission for the Coaster 2021 but this decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by local residents.

Numbers employed by Tayto Park in 2019 reduced from 284 to 263 as staff costs increased from €5.2m to €5.35m.

At the end of 2019, the company’s accumulated profits totalled €20.8m as its cash funds increased to €3.3m.

The directors’ report attached to the accounts states that the directors were in the process of agreeing extended credit terms with both suppliers and banks in response to the pandemic.

The directors state that they believe that they are well placed to deal with the risk brought about by the loss of income from Covid-19 "due to increased cash reserves at year end and the continued support of their parent company and bankers".