The company which operates the Eden Project tourist attraction on behalf of a charitable foundation saw its turnover fall by £ 1.6million in the year to March 2014 and recorded a loss over £ 756,000 after interest, amortization and deferred grant payments, according to his latest accounts.
The accounts show that Eden Project Ltd achieved a turnover of £ 17.5million in 2013/14, up from £ 19.1million in 2012/13. The company recorded a loss of over £ 6.4million after interest, amortization and deferred subsidy payments in 2012/13.
The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the registered charity Eden Trust and operates the Cornwall tourist attraction on behalf of the charity.
Latest accounts show the company achieved operating profit before interest, amortization and deferred grant payments of £ 1.9million in 2013/14, compared to a loss of almost £ 938,000 in 2012/13 .
The company said its revenue fell due to “a combination of fewer visitors to Eden, alongside some projects ending in the year.”
The accounts don’t say how much visitor numbers have declined over the period, but the latest figures published on the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions’ website show that the number of visitors to the Eden Project has dropped by nearly by 10% in calendar year 2013 to nearly 859,000.
The accounts also show that the company laid off 68 people in 2013/14 and did not replace 50 other positions. Job losses combined with further cost-cutting measures have resulted in annualized savings of around £ 4million, according to the accounts. The average number of employees during the year fell from 504 in 2012/13 to 419 a year later, according to the accounts.
The accounts show that the combined remuneration of directors fell by almost £ 200,000, from £ 504,000 in 2012/13 to £ 317,000 in 2013/14. The fall follows the resignations of joint CEOs Sir Tim Smit and Gaynor Coley and Foundation Director Anthony Kendle. The highest paid staff member received just over £ 87,000 in 2013/14, up from £ 157,000 in 2012/13.
But accounts show that Smit and Kendle together made almost £ 189,000 between them again from the project in 2013/14. Collectively, they received almost £ 19,000 for the period they were still directors and an additional £ 169,500 in payments as employees. The accounts do not say how much each person won.
In 2013, the Eden Project declared Third sector that Smit had become executive chairman of Eden Regeneration, a unit that will focus on creating projects at attraction, and that Kendle had joined him in an unspecified role within the unit. Companies House documents show that Smit joined the board of directors of Eden Project Ltd in July 2014.
In June 2014, the company also appointed Gordon Seabright as a director and chairman of the executive committee.
No one at the Eden Project responded to requests for comment from Third sector.