27 April 2015
Williams group posts £34.3m loss for 2014
Williams Grand Prix Holdings announces losses for 2014, but insists its strong performance on track last year will lead to a financial turnaround
Williams Grand Prix Holdings has announced a substantial £34.3m loss for 2014, but insists it is simply the legacy of the struggles associated with its lowly placing in the 2013 constructors' standings.
The group underwent a restructure in 2013 in an effort to revive the fortunes of its flagging F1 team, as well as place greater emphasis in its profitable engineering business. As such, Williams claims 2014 was considered a year of transition, which is thus reflected in its final results.
Consequently, with higher costs in a sport in which commercial rights revenue is earned a year in arrears, the group reported a revenue of £90.2m (2013: £130.4m), with an EBIT of (£34.3m) (2013: £11.9m), driven by higher costs and lower revenue from its F1 team, a result of its ninth place finish overall in 2013 and the sale of its Williams Hybrid Power business.
With Williams finishing third in the constructors' standings last year, Williams says it is confident it will be posting far better results for 2014.
"The decision to invest in the team has been more than validated, with a third place finish in the 2014 Constructors' Championship, up from ninth in 2013,” said Mike O'Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer. “Mid-way through 2013 we set out on an ambitious turnaround strategy to reinvigorate the Formula One team, create a strong and profitable Advanced Engineering business, and divest non-core activities. In 2014 we made very good progress against those objectives, investing significantly in people, facilities, and technology which we believe will provide a solid foundation for the future.
"The Formula One team's leadership and structure was thoroughly overhauled, with the singular objective of reversing a decade of deteriorating performance. As a consequence of our actions we made a significant improvement in our on-track performance in 2014, which has been sustained into 2015. Our Advanced Engineering activities were also consolidated as we relocated operations into a new facility at our Grove HQ. We have put a new and experienced leadership team in place across the organization, and are now well placed to grow in the years ahead.
"The financial performance of the Group in 2014 reflected the poor on-track results of the prior three years, which resulted in a marked deterioration in commercial rights and sponsorship income.
Williams Advanced Engineering, the division of the Group that commercialises Formula One derived technology and knowhow, generated revenue in line with the previous year at £17.8m (2013: £17.3m). EBIT was £3.5m (2013: £5.5m), down on the prior year, primarily due to relocation costs into a new purpose-built facility, and investment to increase capability and enter new markets.
“Last year was also adversely impacted by the costs of relocating our Advanced Engineering activities,” O'Driscoll added. “Our much improved performance in the 2014 Championship will be seen in higher commercial rights and sponsorship income in 2015, coupled with improved performance from our Advanced Engineering division. Our ambition in 2015 is to consolidate the progress we made last year, continue building the necessary foundations for future sporting and commercial success, and consequently to materially improve our financial results for the coming years.”
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