The Jockey Club has reported double-digit growth in underlying turnover and operating profits for 2011.
This performance allowed the Group to increase its investment into racing, which included making a record contribution to prize-money of £16.4m (2010: £13.0m) in line with its commitment to invest all profits back into British racing.
It plans to increase its prize-money contribution in 2012 to a record £16.7m.
In 2011, The Jockey Club’s record £16.4m contribution to prize-money represented 61.4 per cent of profits from its entire Group (2010: 60 per cent), not just its 14 racecourses. Jockey Club Racecourses provided 48 per cent of the total prize money paid at its racecourses in 2011 (up from 36 per cent in 2010), compared to 33 per cent from industry funding (down from 46 per cent in 2010).
As a result of The Jockey Club’s 2011 fixtures suffering a £5.5m cut in industry prize money funding (£11.4m from £16.9m in 2010), total prize money across its 365 racedays decreased by £2.1m to £34.4m. In 2011, average prize money paid out by JCR was nearly £95,000 per fixture.
The Jockey Club generated increased turnover of £139.4m in 2011 (2010: £138.0m), despite receiving £8.8m less in industry funding. Adjusting for this funding drop, the Group increased underlying turnover by £10.2m or 10 per cent year-on-year.
At £19.2m, operating profits were also up for 2011 (2010: £18.3m). This was driven by growth in major racing festivals, which helped JCR to attract record annual attendances of 1.9m, plus increased income from media rights, hospitality sales and sponsorship, and the loss fewer fixtures to the weather.
Simon Bazalgette (pictured), Group Chief Executive, said: “British racing is on the up and I’m very pleased The Jockey Club continues to be our sport’s commercial powerhouse, working hard to generate increased profits so we can put more back in. The growth in interest in British racing is reflected in our Group business performance. By working hard to meet and exceed our targets in 2011, we were able to afford to contribute more than ever to British racing in the form of prize-money, despite the challenging economic environment around us.”
9 May 2012