Pre-tax profits at the company that operates the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) last year more than doubled to €15.24m as over 95,000 people attended the centre across 109 events.

New accounts show that pre-tax profits increased by 122% as revenues at Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin DAC (SDCCD) surged by €14.2m or 148pc from €9.65m to €23.9m.

The return to normal trading for 2022 followed two Covid-19 hit years when the 8,000 capacity convention centre sustained a cumulative revenue hit of €34.5m across 2020 and 2021.

The CCD re-opened for business in September 2021 after being unable to stage conferences for the prior 18 months.

The new accounts show that the company last year paid out a dividend of €11.1m which was an increase on the €8.5m dividend paid in 2021.

Operating expenses during the year increased by 56% from €12.9m to €20.1 million as business events returned post Covid.

The accounts show that operational revenues increased nine fold from €1.7m to €15.3m as revenues from the unitary charge paid by the Office of Public Works (OPW) increased from €7.94m to €8.57m.

The remainder of the OPW unitary charge at €11.16m appears as interest income on the company's profit and loss account.

SDCCD DAC has a licence to operate and manage the CCD for 25 years from 2010.

In June of this year, leading investor and active manager of core infrastructure assets, the John Laing Group announced the purchase of the CCD from the Irish Infrastructure Fund.

The new accounts show that Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin DAC last year recorded an operating profit of €3.8m after sustaining an operating loss of €3.24m in 2021.

Commenting on the new accounts, ceo of CCD, Stephen Meehan said: "After two very difficult years, it was heartening to see that The Convention Centre Dublin returned to a more typical level of trading during 2022."

The 95,002 to attend the CCD last year has already been surpassed this year with the CCD hosting 107 events and 149,449 attendees.

On the 2023 performance to date, Mr Meehan said: "Based on current trading, we could be looking at a record year for 2023, which is hugely positive for The Convention Centre Dublin, and also for the wider Irish economy, which derives significant financial benefits from international conferences and events that are hosted here at The CCD."

Numbers employed by Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin (No 2) DAC to operate the centre show that numbers employed last year from 65 to 76 as staff costs increased from €3.69m to €4.49m.

Directors' pay, including pension contributions, reduced from €435,994 to €345,407.

While many companies are still operating hybrid models, and hybrid conferencing is still a feature, Mr Meehan said there was no substitute for an in person conference or meeting. "People want a memorable and enjoyable experience where they can make a real connection with their peers, and at The CCD we offer world-class facilities in Dublin, which is a really great city for conferences and events."

The convention centre has a strong schedule in place for 2024, with major events such as the Pendulum Summit in January, the Women in Project Management Summit next March and the Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment next April.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan