Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Annual Meeting

6th Mar 2020

At the Annual Meeting of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) held on Friday 6th March, John Martin, Chairman of the Finance Committee stated that the year to 31st October 2019 was a period of sustained progress for the Society, reflected in the financial results presented on the day.

During the financial year to 31st October 2019, the Society has returned net incoming resources on ordinary activities £992,532. This result is in line with the Society’s financial projections. The fixed assets of the Group are valued at £21,904,200 which includes the residential and commercial property at the King’s Hall Complex. During the year the additions to the Society’s tangible fixed assets totaled £623,957. These included the construction of the link between the Dr E F Logan Hall and the Eikon Hall and infrastructure improvements to Balmoral Park and the purchase of the RUAS Office.

Reviewing the Society’s financial activities, £3,175,208 was expended on charitable activities, including support costs. These activities generated total revenues of £2,939,958 resulting in a deficit of £235,250. While this represents an improvement of £281,653 on the previous year. This result demonstrates the need to secure sustainable enabling finance to support the core charitable activities of the Society, which remains the delivery of its agri-events. Agri-events during the financial year included the inaugural Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships which took place on Tuesday 27th November 2018. This was followed by the 33rd Royal Ulster Winter Fair, in association with Danske Bank, which took place on 13th December 2018. The Society celebrated its 151st Balmoral Show during May 2019. The Show was a great success with livestock entry levels remaining high with almost of 3,430 animals being presented for competition.

The subsidiary companies of the Society engage in commercial activities solely to generate enabling finance to enable the Society to fulfil its charitable objectives. During the financial year, the subsidiaries generated £1,437,879 of net income.

The financial year was a period of continuing momentum for the King’s Hall Exhibition and Conference Centre Limited. During the year the Eikon Exhibition Centre hosted a diverse portfolio of events including the NI Leisure Show, Spring Farm Machinery Show and Dubshed all of which utilised both the Eikon and Logan Halls. The installation of the retractable link between the Eikon and Logan Halls has positioned the Venue as the largest indoors events campus in Northern Ireland.

The Company remains intent on the expansion of the existing business and development of new business opportunities at the Eikon Exhibition Centre. Trading projections are in line with expectations.    

During the financial year the King’s Hall Harberton Estates Limited, saw the development of Harberton BT9 continue apace. The performance was significantly ahead of the expected levels of completions during the period and it is anticipated that the entire development will be completed well ahead of schedule.

During the financial period to the 31st October 2019, KH Balmoral Estates Limited advanced the initial stages of the development agreement with Benmore Octopus Healthcare Limited. As the financial year concluded the developer confirmed their intentions to take occupancy of the site in December 2019 with construction works commencing in 2020.

John Martin concluded, ‘We are now enjoying a progressive and aspirational period in the history of this Society. Council and the finance committee are carefully steering the financial path of the Society so that the objectives set by our membership for future generations will be realised. We have a talented and committed staff, a dedicated Council and a membership who have embraced change for the betterment and long term sustainability of this Society’.

To view the 2019 Annual Report, click here

RUAS President Billy Martin, Vice President Christine Adams, Chairman of the Finance Committee, John Martin and Chief Executive, Dr Alan Crowe were pictured at the Annual Meeting on Friday 6 March 2020.