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EICC heads back to black as sales surge

Staff at an international conference centre have hailed a hike in sales. Marshall Dallas, boss at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, said events have delivered an £11.5m boost for the city in the first five months of this year, up from £10.5m a year ago. Last year, a report by accountant EY warned that the centre was facing a £1.3 million operating loss. Mr Dallas – who took up his role in October – said the findings were “very sobering”. The former food and beverage manager at Gleneagles Hotel told The Scotsman newspaper: “The accounts for January to May show we’ve made real impact on that £1.3m loss. In the first five months of the year, our sales are up about 40 per cent. As of the end of May, we are sitting with an operating profit of about £110,000, against last year’s £821,000 loss. “We’ve been busy and had a complete turnaround in sales and marketing, introducing day delegate rates for corporate customers, so they know there won’t be any hidden costs.” In February, Dallas appointed Amanda Wrathall as sales and marketing director. Wrathall previously worked for Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange venue and a spa chain. The EICC had been chosen to host the Rehabilitation International 23rd World Congress in October 2016, which will bring in more than 1,000 delegates and provide the city’s economy with a boost of more than £2m. The centre will also play host to the annual meeting of the British Society of Echocardiography in 2017 and 2020, while the Council of International Schools’ forum, representing more than 1,000 schools and colleges from 100 countries, will roll into town this year and in 2017.