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Viagogo reports growth in Irish business

The Irish arm of Viagogo has seen pre-tax profits more than double as the company continues its expansion in the country.

Viagogo operates a customer call centre in Limerick and VGL Support Services Ireland Ltd has reported a 101 per cent increase in profit last year to €262,796 (£233,000/$299,000). Meanwhile, the company’s Irish revenues increased by 50 per cent in 2017 to €5.4m.

Employee numbers at Viagogo’s Irish base last year increased from 88 to 125 and the ticket reseller’s business model has been under scrutiny in the country. TheJournal.ie website said that in a submission last year to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport during a consultation on the resale of tickets for entertainment and sporting events, Viagogo outlined that its latest figures demonstrate that 75 per cent of tickets sell for a price above the face value of the ticket and 25 per cent of tickets sell at or below the face value price.

The company highlighted that 90 per cent of sellers on its platform sell fewer than 10 tickets per year, with only certain isolated cases drawing the attention of the media. Viagogo said: “The overwhelming majority of tickets listed do in fact sell. The tickets that don’t sell are typically those listed at high and unrealistic prices, which are those that are often reported in sensationalist media articles.”

Viagogo also argued that banning the resale of tickets would be “unfair” and would “undermine a consumer’s right to sell on their property”.

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last month dropped a complaint against Viagogo after stating that it had secured pricing changes to the company’s business model that satisfied its concerns.

The ASA had referred Viagogo to National Trading Standards (NTS), claiming that the resale platform had failed to comply with the advertising watchdog’s transparency criteria. The ASA had ruled that Viagogo was misleading consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and VAT that were added throughout the booking process. Since then, the Authority worked with Viagogo to bring about “material changes” to its website.

The ASA said pricing information would be made clear with one single price, containing both VAT and the compulsory booking fee, quoted upfront at the start of the consumer’s journey.

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