Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Group is a leaner and more cost-effective organisation than the leading FTSE 100 companies, it has been revealed - with the sport's supremo pointing to 'a very tight ship' as the secret to his remarkable success.

On a revenue-per-employee basis, industry monitor Formulamoney has published data that shows that each of the 260 employees of the Formula One Group generate ?2.2 million - a figure some ?400,000 higher than the next-best FTSE 100 company can boast, and also significantly higher than those of other major sports rights-holders FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the World Rally Championship and Dorna (MotoGP) and top entertainment rights-holders Nintendo, Marvel, the WWE and Cirque du Soleil.

The Formula One Group's income in 2007 totalled ?577.8 million, composed of television rights money, grand prix-hosting fees, trackside advertising and corporate hospitality. Over the same period, private equity firm 3i - the top FTSE 100 member with an annual turnover of ?1.4 billion - generated a comparative ?1.8 million for each of its 765 employees.

In terms of workforce, the Formula One Group is made up of far fewer staff than most of the country's leading organisations, with the most directly comparable - real estate company Hammerson, with 261 employees - counting a total revenue of ?311.5 million, just over half of that of Ecclestone's concern. The closest FTSE 100 representative in terms of overall turnover is Covent Garden owner Liberty International, which has to employ three times as many people in order to do so.

The figures mean the sport is well-placed to weather the current global economic crisis - whilst its ten teams are conversely making redundancies left, right and centre following years of lavish over-expenditure, with Honda having even gone so far as to pull out altogether at the end of last year. Multiple world champions McLaren-Mercedes' workforce is four times higher than that of the Formula One Group.

"We run a very tight ship and the staff are all focussed on maintaining F1's position as the world's most watched annual sports event," revealed Ecclestone, who single-handedly commercialised the top flight almost three decades ago and issued a further warning to the manufacturers presently involved against forming a 'breakaway' series, as has been mooted amidst the ongoing FIA-FOTA budget cap dispute. "I can't imagine anyone commercialising a sport from scratch again as I did with F1."

Revenue per employee:


1. Formula One Group $4.4m
2. 3i $3.7m
3. Legal and General $3.6m
4. Enterprise Inns $3.6m
5. Tullow Oil $3.4m


1. Formula One Group $4.4m
2. FIFA $3.0m
3. International Olympic Committee $2.1m
4. World Rally Championship $1.7m
5. Dorna (MotoGP) $1.4m


1. Formula One Group $4.4m
2. Nintendo $2.4m
3. Marvel $1.9m
4. WWE $0.9m
5. Cirque du Soleil $0.2m


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