Despite the various doomsday forecasts over the past year, not least the spate of rapid play closures last spring, figures released by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), the marketing body for theatre owners and producers, show that West End revenues in 2004 - £341,758,566, up 6% on 2003 - were the highest since records began to be compiled in the 1980s. At the same time, attendance figures - 11,938,999 visits to London’s major theatres, up 3% on 2003 - were the second best year on record. The figures were compiled from independently audited box office returns from the 52 larger central London theatres, including both the commercial West End and the major subsidised houses. Commenting on the results, Richard Pulford, chief executive of SOLT, said: “The figures confound speculative press stories about declining audiences that appeared during the year….The industry enters 2005 in confident mood. In the nature of things, there will always be individual shows that fare less well than others. But, taken all in all, London theatre production is in good health. I am delighted to be able to demonstrate that reports of its decline have no substance.”