The concert and conference center Harpa in Reykjavík lost ISK 584 million (USD 4.8 million, EUR 3.6 million) last year and the operational loss is estimated at ISK 302 million this year after a contribution of ISK 160 million from the owners—the Icelandic state and City of Reykjavík—has been taken into account.
“This means that the operation this year improves by approximately ISK 120 million, which must be considered to be acceptable in one year. But it’s an estimate, of course, and if we manage to improve by ISK 100 million in one year, we’re happy,” CEO of Harpa Halldór Guðmundsson told Fréttablaðið.
Halldór explained that when the operations of Harpa were reorganized last year, it was agreed that the owners would contribute ISK 160 million this year, in 2014 and 2015.
The decrease in operational loss lies in the significant increase in turnover from Harpa’s conference division, Halldór reasoned. “The opportunities that lie in conferences are immense and this year the increase in conferences is about 40 percent.”
Harpa’s main income is rent by fixed tenants, which amounts to ISK 190 million this year, and artistic events held at the center, which deliver ISK 215 million. Other income is ISK 150 and so the overall revenue of Harpa in 2013 is estimated at ISK 785 million.
It is currently being disputed in court whether Harpa should pay the City of Reykjavík ISK 355 million in property tax annually, which is more than the capital region shopping malls Kringlan and Smáralind pay combined.
Halldór maintained that Harpa’s operational loss can to the largest extent be explained by the property tax.