Bumper crowds returning to the Aviva Stadium last year helped the company that runs the stadium record operating profits of €4.9m for 2021.

New Stadium Ltd recorded the operating profits as sell-out crowds returned to the Aviva last autumn, following the stadium being shut to patrons for much of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fans at the Aviva saw the Ireland rugby team beat the All Blacks as part of the autumn international rugby series, while the Aviva had another full house for the Ireland international soccer team's tie against Portugal in November.

During the Covid-19 impacted year, the venue missed out on money-spinning events such as the staging of concerts.

However, concerts at the venue are returning this Summer; with the likes of Harry Styles, The Eagles and Westlife set to play.

The stadium recently staged an open recruitment day for a host of roles for the summer concert and match series.

New accounts filed by New Stadium Ltd - jointly owned by the IRFU and the FAI - show that it generated revenues of €6.9m from its two shareholders in 2021.

Due to the increased activity at the stadium last year the €6.9m total represents a 21% increase on the €5.7m paid out by the entities in 2020.

A sizeable chunk of the company’s revenues would come from naming rights for the stadium.

In 2010, Aviva bought the naming rights for a reported €40m over 10 years - or €4m a year - and in 2018 extended the deal to 2025.

The deal agreed in 2018 came into effect in 2020 and a note attached to the New Stadium accounts states that the company’s share of its naming rights income is released to the profit and loss account each year.

Last year, New Stadium Ltd paid out no dividend to its shareholders.

The stadium company recorded a pre-tax loss of €4.2 million for last year - however this takes account of hefty non-cash depreciation costs of €9.12m.

The company pays the IRFU €750,000 each year for the rent of the stadium land.

The number of employees employed by the stadium firm reduced from 22 to 17 with four of the jobs lost part-time roles.

Staff costs reduced from €1.44m to €1.5m.

The accounts are signed off by the CEO of the IRFU, Kevin Potts and President of the FAI, Gerry McAnaney.

The firm’s shareholder funds stood at €148m made up of a share premium of €58.1m, capital contribution of €134.37m and accumulated losses of €44.27m.

The firm’s cash pile increased from €2.2m to €3.37m.

The company’s fixed assets had a book value of €299m at year end.