Bond­hold­ers asked to agree to ‘rule breaches’

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

WASPS have re­leased their lat­est ac­counts which show the group’s turnover in­creased to more than £33 mil­lion.

The fig­ures for the 12-month pe­riod end­ing June 30, 2017, also re­veal their op­er­at­ing loss fell from £6.2m to just £800,000, while the value of the Ri­coh Arena “im­proved” to £60m.

But there was also a £1.1m cash in­jec­tion from Wasps’ “ul­ti­mate share­holder” Derek Richard­son. The money cre­ated a prob­lem with the group’s £35m bonds as it was not ac­counted for prop­erly and caused breaches in fi­nan­cial rules gov­ern­ing the bonds.

The ac­counts were pub­lished to­day and cover the en­tire Wasps group, which in­cludes the Premier­ship Rugby club it­self, Ri­coh Arena busi­ness ACL and events com­pany IEC. Over­all, Wasps’s turnover in­creased 8.5 per cent to £33.6m in 2016/17 from £30.9m the year be­fore.

The ac­counts showed three meth­ods of cal­cu­lat­ing profit: its op­er­at­ing profit (be­fore ex­cep­tional items and al­lo­ca­tion to non-con­trol­ling in­ter­ests) fell to £800,000 from £3.8m; op­er­at­ing profit (be­fore de­pre­ci­a­tion, ex­cep­tional items and al­lo­ca­tion to non-con­trol­ling in­ter­ests) was up to £2.4m com­pared to £2.2m in 2015/16; and a mea­sure of op­er­at­ing loss de­creased sig­nif­i­cantly from £6.2m to just £800,000. In what was Wasps’ sec­ond full year at the Ri­coh Arena, the club ac­counts showed the sta­dium and all the as­so­ci­ated leisure fa­cil­i­ties and land is now worth £60m. The arena played host to 895 events from July 2016 to June 2017, in­clud­ing con­certs for Rob­bie Wil­liams, Craig David, Cat­fish and the Bot­tle­men, and Pe­ter Kay. As for the num­bers con­nected to Wasps’ home games through the rugby sea­son, the av­er­age at­ten­dance in­creased from 16,916 to 19,338 and hos­pi­tal­ity sales rose by 49 per cent. Wasps chief ex­ec­u­tive Nick East­wood said: “I am pleased with the progress made in our sec­ond full year at the Ri­coh Arena, a move which has proved trans­for­ma­tional for the club, with record rev­enue growth. It has been an­other ac­tive year dur­ing which we have fur­ther con­sol­i­dated our po­si­tion at the Arena.

“It has been an­other ac­tive year dur­ing which we have fur­ther con­sol­i­dated our po­si­tion at the Arena, host­ing a num­ber of land­mark events and we are see­ing the con­tin­ued ben­e­fits from im­prove­ments and agree­ments made in 2016.

“We have also at­tracted sev­eral new part­ners in­clud­ing Eric­s­son as our in­door spon­sor, who will also be in­tro­duc­ing a high den­sity Wi-Fi net­work. This will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence for all our cus­tomers and events part­ners through the de­vel­op­ment of a be­spoke ap­pli­ca­tion and other tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments.

“It was also an ex­cit­ing sea­son on the field and we were de­lighted at the high stan­dard played by the team, who fin­ished first in the reg­u­lar sea­son but lost out in the dy­ing min­utes of the play­off fi­nal.

“I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank all of our fans, both old and new. At­ten­dances have been at record lev­els with more sea­son ticket hold­ers than ever and we are grate­ful for ev­ery­one’s con­tin­ued sup­port both on and off the field.

“I am ex­cited about the year ahead and at the start we have al­ready made for the 2017/18 year. We still have a great deal of po­ten­tial to max­imise our unique po­si­tion at the Ri­coh to at­tract the busi­ness and en­ter­tain­ment events, se­cure more part­ner­ships, host the high­est qual­ity sport and con­tinue to grow the busi­ness.”

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