Bondholders asked to agree to ‘rule breaches’
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.”