Manchester Central reports profit after £25.6m turnover, but utility costs bite

Manchester Central

Manchester Central has reported record numbers for its latest financial year.

In its financial accounts for the 12 months to the end of March 2023 the city-centre based venue, which sits adjacent to Lower Mosley Street and Windmill Street, reported a turnover increase from £16.9m to £25.6m and record high occupation (number of events), while profit for the year after taxation amounted to £2,015,000 (2022: £765,000).

Reflecting wider economic fluctuation and increased market rates, direct costs to the company for hosting events increased from £5.3m to £8.0m while administrative expenses grew from £9.6m to £13.1m, in part due to extreme rises in utility costs despite the company introducing new measures to reduce consumption.

The accounts also confirmed continued and increased investment in the 140-year-old venue itself with significant maintenance taking place to preserve the building and maintain the unique characteristics of the venue in line with guidance from Historic England.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2023, the venue hosted 190 events, including HYROX, the Wheelchair Rugby World Cup Final, Manchester Art Fair, BSAVA Congress, One Young World and the British Insurance Brokers Association’s (BIBA) annual conference.

Forecasts predict a further uptick in utilisation for 2023, with over half a million delegates expected at the venue.

Commenting on the latest accounts, Chief Executive Shaun Hinds said: “Our positive trading performance reflects our well executed strategy to maintain our position as the venue of choice for event organisers.

“Throughout these uncertain times, agility and flexibility are key, and we continue to work with our customers to create long-term partnerships and secure multi-year contracts. We’ve worked hard to mitigate the unprecedented cost increases we’ve faced by driving activity, focusing on venue utilisation, and creating efficiencies wherever possible.   

“We have also invested heavily in our facilities, workforce, and product development to ensure we set the company apart from our competitors.

“Live events are an integral part of the economic growth of both the city-region and the wider UK and while we operate in a competitive and evolving environment, we are extremely pleased with current business performance and our ongoing impact on the wider community.

“On average, for every £1 spent at Manchester Central a further £6 is spent in the wider city – in hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and taxis. Being able to support the region in this way is something we are extremely proud of, and we look forward to continuing to support the growth of the North West and the events sector in the years to come.”

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