The Irish Rugby Football Union today presented its 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts, reporting a 7.3 million euro surplus due to improved GUINNESS Series ticket sales and increased prize-monies thanks to a better than 'budgeted' finish in the RBS 6 Nations Championship and another year of strong provincial performances.
This success resulted in a smaller than expected cash deficit of €1 million (versus €4.5 million in 2012/13) after non-cash items, such as depreciation and amortised income, were accounted for.
The strong financial performance will allow for increased provincial and domestic game funding and an additional €1million investment in the Union's club loan scheme.
However, Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace urged caution based on the fragility of the wider economic recovery and the potential impact of changes to 'free-to-air' broadcasting rules and possible limitations to sports sponsorships agreements.
Presenting the accounts, Grace said: "As the economy slowly finds its feet the Irish people continue to get behind their team, and we were very pleased with the increased ticket sales for the 2013 GUINNESS Series.
"Success off the pitch was matched by big performances on it and the RBS 6 Nations prize money, in particular, has provided a welcome boost.
"The 2013/14 season demonstrated once again that supporting the national team at the Aviva (Stadium) enables the IRFU to continue to make significant funds available to the professional and domestic games."
Legendary former Ireland international Philip Orr was joined by current Leinster players Sean Cronin, Aaron Dundon and Colm O'Shea at the RDS today for the launch of 'Rugby Memories', a new initiative with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) who are one of two charity partners to Leinster Rugby this season.
Connacht's victory over Benetton Treviso last time out and the loss of the Scarlets' 100% record saw Pat Lam's men take over top spot in the GUINNES PRO12 table - a position the province had not held, after a full round of games, since the start of 2010/11 season.
Ahead of the game against Ulster on Friday, Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty spoke about the lessons learned from the defeat to Bath and how the province's pack will be taking those lessons into this weekend's interprovincial clash.