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Bolton announce increased revenues despite tough times

Tue 1st Nov 2011 | Money & Finance

Bolton Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside says that the current tough economic times are reflected in the results of the Burnden Leisure annual report.

Speaking to the club website, the Wanderers Chairman reflected on the continued support and investment of owner Eddie Davies and outlined the football club's plans for the future.

He said: "I think that it is fair to say that everyone, and I include businesses in this as well, is finding it challenging economically, and we are not immune to that, whether it be now or in the future.

"But within these conditions, as we report this year, we have seen our attendances rise by 5% and our turnover increase.

"We have been following a consistent ticketing strategy over three seasons, which has seen us freeze prices, so the increase in crowds is really very pleasing.

"Year on year, we have also reduced our losses and that is without any significant player trading. In fact we added to the squad, and so that is encouraging because obviously as we go forward we will be subject to the forthcoming framework of the Financial Fair play, and it is good to have been able to achieve that progress in cutting the losses.

"Again, and I have said this before, we cannot ever underestimate what Eddie Davies does for our club. As a fan and our owner, he continues to significantly back us on and off the pitch, and he has done that again.

"As the report shows, our debt is to Eddie, and as a result of that support, we have no dangerous levels of bank debt which is a major plus fact for our club.

"Eddie has invested more than £100 million in the Wanderers. He is a huge factor in the time we have enjoyed in this elite league and he continues to back us.

"As well as that, we are also in a strong position as regards our facilities, as we own them. We have an excellent infrastructure in place and we will look to build on that as we seek to continue developing.

"The annual report also reflects that we have made further investment in our academy and right across the business.

"We have always sought to progress on and off the field and we will continue to invest in these areas as we look to the future."

Allan Duckworth, Chief Executive, said: "The past year has been one of consolidated progress across the business. We are carrying on the continuous improvement and development of the wider Burnden Leisure business interests, and have continued to invest in the future in our training facilities and our Academy.

"We have to add a note of caution, bearing in mind that it has been, and will be for some time, a very difficult economic climate, and as these adverse economic conditions persist, they will continue to present significant challenges which the business will have to deal with."

Figures outlined below:

  • Turnover increased by 10% to £67.7m (2010: £61.7m) and retained losses were reduced by £9.3 million pounds, 26%, to £26.1m (2010: £35.4m).

  • Income from football operations in the year increased by £6.8m, or 13%, to £60.7m (2010: £54.0m).

  • Attendances at Barclays Premier League matches increased 5% on the previous season.

  • Revenues from corporate hospitality increased by 18% year-on-year to £1.8m (2010: £1.5m) reversing the decline of recent years, and providing optimism for future growth.

  • Sponsorship and advertising income increased by £0.4m to £3.8m (2010: £3.4m), again reversing recent trends.

  • Merchandise and licensing sales increased by 23% to £1.7m (2010: £1.4m).

  • Headline Operating Costs for the year reduced by £2.6m to £74.1m (2010: £76.7m) as the impact of exceptional costs included in the previous year fell away.

  • Total Staff Costs for the year were £56.1m.This represents an increase of only 2% on the previous year (£2010: £55.0m), demonstrating a real focus on gradually managing this cost down relative to turnover.

  • Other player related costs, including amortisation of the costs of player registrations, were also reduced in the year, from £15.9m (2010) to £14.1m.

  • Total spend in the year was £15.3m.This was £1.2m less than the previous year (2010: £16.5m) and flat if certain exceptional one-off costs included last year are taken into account.

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