November 8, 2016
Australian Turf Club Ltd’s (ATC) strong performance will allow it to further invest in Sydney racing, its members and customers after reporting a $13.439 million operating surplus for the 2015/16 financial year.
The result is a record operating surplus for ATC post merger and the third consecutive surplus recorded by the Club. *1
ATC has also strengthened its balance sheet by reducing legacy debt to $10 million, down from $55 million three years ago. *2
Prizemoney independently funded by ATC from its operating surpluses grew by $4.075 million as part of an increase in total prizemoney to $96.2 million in 2016.
With prizemoney increases recently announced, including $100,000 minimum for each Saturday race, ATC prizemoney will exceed $100 million for the first time in the 2017 financial year, to support and strengthen racing in NSW.
The Club’s strong result was driven in part by full-year income from its broadcast deal with SKY Racing, negotiated in partnership with Racing NSW.
ATC Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said the improved position of the Club would now permit investment in world-class racing and training infrastructure.
Mr Pearce said the Club was now able to enter a more strategic phase as it builds Sydney racing and its facilities into one of the world’s strongest centres.
“For the past five years we have undertaken a disciplined business strategy to retire debt and improve profitability and we have now turned the corner allowing strong investment in our future,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“It’s now time to deliver world-class racing and training assets.
“In the five years post merger we have also retired some $45 million in debt whilst also being able to refurbish spectator facilities, including most recently across Rosehill Gardens.
“All Sydney course proper surfaces will be renovated in a scheduled program, starting with a Spring renovation of the Royal Randwick course proper ahead of Summer and The Championships in the Autumn, and a full rebuild of the Kensington track, which is currently out to tender after a comprehensive design process.’’
Mr Pearce said the benefits of the NSW Government’s changes to wagering taxation would provide further opportunities for the ATC to future proof Sydney racing, and make infrastructure, prizemoney and events world-class for the foreseeable future.
FOOTNOTE *1: The operating surplus is calculated after removing the impact of non-core and non-recurring items from the result.
FOOTNOTE *2: Legacy debt is $10 million. Total debt is $13.073 million after ATC entered into finance leases for track maintenance equipment after in-sourcing track maintenance at Royal Randwick and Warwick Farm in the past financial year.
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