Desmond ‘Very Happy’ To Get Richer

One of his companies saw its annual pre-tax profits fall 19 percent from £6.25 million to £5 million, but Irish concert promoter Denis Desmond is happy his UK-based Festival Republic has paid out dividends of nearly £10 million in the last two years.

The company, which is a 50-50 partnership between Desmond and Live Nation and promotes the UK’s Reading, Leeds and Latitude Festivals, issued £2.93 million in dividends in 2012.

The previous year it paid out a £6.6 million dividend to shareholders. Papers including The Irish Times and the Irish Examiner reported Desmond is “very happy” with the result. Three weeks ago Desmond said Academy Music Group, another joint venture he has with LN, will have revenues of about £8 million ($12.3 million) this year. Festival Republic also has a major share in Germany’s Berlin Festival, Norway’s Hove Festival, and Ireland’s Electric Picnic Festival, although the latter is now involved in a court case over a boardroom wrangle.

Desmond’s various companies also have a major share in England’s V Festivals, Scotland’s T In The Park, and Ireland’s Oxegen Festival. It’s now been revealed that he’s teamed with Simon Moran’s UK-based SJM Concerts to buy Spain’s Benicassim Festival, previously owned by Vince Power’s Music Festivals PLC.

Four years ago Desmond and wife/business partner Caroline had £73 million and were the 138th-richest people in Ireland. He said part of this summer’s success will be thanks to the return of Glastonbury, which has resulted in a spike in ticket sales for Festival Republic’s events this Summer.

“There is a feel-good factor around Glastonbury. Two and a half million people watching TV saw the Rolling Stones perform at the weekend. There is a lot of positivity around music festivals as a result of Glastonbury,” he explained. Figures show that almost 600,000 people went to see Festival Republic’s six events last year, which included the Reading and Leeds Music Festivals.

Acts appearing at Festival Republic’s festivals this year include David GuettaGreen DayKings of LeonArctic MonkeysDeftonesThe Script, and Calvin Harris.