November 11, 2015
The Australian Turf Club Ltd (ATC) will return further surpluses to its Members, racing fans and the NSW thoroughbred racing industry after a record post-merger operating profit for the past financial year.
The ATC has recorded an operating profit of $10.996 million in the 2015 financial year, allowing it to continue on its strategic path of growth and investment in Sydney racing.
The 2015 operating profit result is a further $7.212 million improvement on the previous financial year, following the $3.784 million operating profit in the 2014 financial year.
The operating profit result does not include one-off non-core business transactions following the winding up of TVN, the sale of non-core property and other non-operating items, which contributed to an accounting and reported loss of $2.438 million.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said the Club’s Board, Executive and staff has also been able to deliver a further $17 million reduction in legacy debt in the 2015 financial year, to position itself for future growth and investment.
Mr Pearce said the Club’s improved performance allows it to further invest surpluses into the industry, such as the recent $2.7 million increase to Spring and Summer feature race prizemoney, and a 10 per cent reduction in training fees at ATC courses.
In addition this year, the Club will invest approximately $10 million of its own reserves into Rosehill Gardens upgrades, on top of $18 million in grant investments previously provided by the NSW Government.
ATC will also invest $10 million in recurrent capital expenditure and $4 million in new equipment for tracks and gardens maintenance, as this key service is insourced at Royal Randwick and Warwick Farm.
“Over the past two years we have not only been able to deliver total operating profits of almost $15 million, but also have reduced our legacy debt by some $35 million,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“With improved industry funding through tax parity, we can continue on this path of growth and investment, and further enhance facilities at our racecourses for our Members, punters, Sydney racing fans, and industry participants.’’
Mr Pearce said the Club will continue to focus on opportunities at its racecourses to grow the business on race days and non race days.
“The prospect of a light rail link as part of the redevelopment of the Camellia Peninsula around Rosehill Gardens offers great opportunities in coming years for our premier racecourse in Western Sydney,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“It would allow us to unlock the full value and potential of our land holdings in the area, with the construction of a lifestyle precinct and extra entertainment facilities.
“ATC Members will consider the Club’s amalgamation with the Rosehill Bowling Club at this year’s AGM as an important first step in our Masterplan for Rosehill Gardens.
“At Royal Randwick, our non race day business continues to build as we make optimum use of all of our spaces including The Stables, and we work towards the construction and completion of a light rail system over the coming 18 months, which will be a massive step forward for racing and event customers who wish to enjoy world-class facilities.
“The ATC’s focus for the next 12 months is producing our long-term strategic plan, and completing Masterplans for our four venues, so that we can grow Sydney racing well into the future.
“The Board and I thank the hard-working ATC staff, and the broader racing industry, for helping us deliver this result.’’
The full ATC Annual Report can be viewed at https://www.australianturfclub.com.au/2015-atc-agm/
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