The Irish audio-visual industry contributed almost half a billion euro to Irish economy in 2019, according to a new PwC report.

The report highlights how film, TV and animation productions, supported by the section 481 tax credit scheme, delivered over €469 million in total economic contribution to Ireland during the year.

The report states that this represents a return on investment of €3.80 for every €1.

The report also reveals that there were 124 productions supported by the section 481 scheme in 2019, which enabled the employment of 16,952 full time positions.

The PwC report was commissioned by Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios, with the support of Animation Ireland and Screen Producers Ireland.

According to Elaine Geraghty, CEO of Troy and Ardmore Studios, the section 481 film tax credit is a "critical pillar" of the financing structure of the industry.

"Section 481 allows Ireland to compete for international production investment and it is timely to look at that competitive landscape to ensure our incentive continues to attract those multi-million scaled repeat productions that can further develop our skills and talent pool, as well as provide significant further fiscal benefits to our economy.

"What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that the upper limit of €70 million on our Section 481 tax incentive is a barrier to Ireland securing those large-scale international productions," Ms Geraghty said.

The Government's stated ambition is to increase the scale of the sector to a point where employment will double to 24,000 people, delivering a gross value added of some €1.4bn.

"To achieve this, the Section 481 incentive needs to be adjusted," Ms Geraghty said.

Susan Kirby, CEO at Screen Producers Ireland, said the report published today highlights the return on investment of S481 to the economy.

"The indigenous independent production sector, along with local crew, underpin the success of S481 in developing a world class Irish AV sector and attracting incoming productions to film in Ireland.

"The ongoing success of the Irish AV sector and S481 will be through the work of Irish producers continuing to secure incoming productions along with the continued development and creation of Irish-centered content," she said.

Ronan McCabe, Chief Executive of Animation Irelans said the report shows that Ireland is now a major global player when it comes to animation production.

"This is something we should all be extremely proud of.

"The creativity, talent and expertise we have on this island is extraordinary.

"The Irish animation industry has enormous potential and these figures demonstrate that the sector is moving in the right direction," he said.