St Helens’ Finances Improve and Stadium Completion Underpinning a Bright Future
St.Helens R.F.C. have announced significantly improved results for the financial year ended 31st October 2012 compared to the previous year.
This was so even though the Club was operating in its new stadium, Langtree Park, for only two thirds of that financial year and also experienced material start-up costs.
Chairman Eamonn McManus stated:
“The overall financial performance of the Club was in line with expectations for the financial year ended 31st October 2012 and constituted a significant improvement on the prior year ended 31st October 2011 when the Club necessarily operated at the Halton Stadium, Widnes, pending completion and opening of Langtree Park in February 2012.
The group operating loss before interest, depreciation and amortisation for the year ended 31st October 2012 was £892,170, a significant improvement on the equivalent loss of £2,430,041 for the year ended 31st October 2011. Given that the Club relocated to Langtree Park, with its improved revenue opportunities, only one third the way through the financial year, the annualised financial performance in 2012 was creditable.
Group turnover improved materially to £5,798,309 for the year ended 31st October 2012 from £4,399,220 for the year ended 31st October 2011. This was principally due to improved season ticket and gate receipts and also corporate hospitality and event income arising from the move to Langtree Park.
The current financial year ending 31st October, 2013 is challenging, mainly due to an early exit from the Challenge Cup competition and disappointing playing results in Super League. In addition, our corporate hospitality and events income has been materially adversely hit by the termination in the operation of our contracted caterer, EMC, which went into administration in March 2013, and which had also performed well below reasonable expectations prior thereto. We have resultantly taken the catering operation in-house and this is already showing improved results which will come in to full fruition in 2014. Overall, the underlying revenue trends are all very encouraging.
Cladding is currently being installed in the West, North and East stands of Langtree Park and this will entail material capital expenditure and professional fees in 2013. However, it constitutes a very sound investment as Langtree Park will look absolutely magnificent.
The Club will shortly enter into a refinancing package to cover current and medium term operational and capital expenditure requirements. We expect this to be the final material component of what has been a complex and meticulously planned and executed twelve year phased financing package of recapitalisations, equity placements and convertible bond issues. This has provided the Club with the best owner- occupied stadium in British club rugby and which has been achieved without recourse to external debt. An achievement of which the Club is rightfully very proud.
The Club and the town now have a new stadium facility without equal in the game, owned outright by the Club. It is a real testament to the Club and to the town and to the game of Rugby League. The Directors of the Club have shown a very major financial commitment to the game as well as to the Club and its town.
We expect a major improvement in financial performance in 2014 over 2013 when new operations will have bedded in fully at the new stadium and material additional capital expenditure projects will have ceased. Furthermore, we are particularly confident in the financial performance of the Club and of the wider game from 2015 onwards resulting from the restructuring of the current fixture format of Super League. Given the very substantial investments which the Club has made in recent years, we will be rightfully and strongly positioned to benefit from an improvement in Super League’s overall financial performance as well as any pick up in the wider economy after a number of years of severe recession, from which we have emerged in a much stronger position.”