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Williams financial results mirror on-track achievements for 2012

29 April 2013


Williams Grand Prix Holdings has reported positive financial results for the year to the end of December 2012, reflecting the step up that its F1 team made on-track.

WGPH is the holding company of the Williams group of companies, which includes Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited and Williams Hybrid Power Limited.

The core business, which combines the traditional F1 business and activity that commercialises F1-derived IP, has seen turnover increase from £102.3m to £124.3m. This has led to an increase in overall Group turnover of 22 per cent to £127m from 2011's £104.5m. The Group, however, made a loss before taxation in the year of £5.0m - 2011 saw a profit of £7.4m - as a result of the impact of a technical accounting treatment of one of the Group's key receipts during the year.

Williams Hybrid Power and Williams Technology Centre Qatar both continued to grow as expected and their losses reflected the investments made in these businesses for long-term growth and value and are in line with the board's business plan.

WTCQ turnover improved to £0.3m, and WHP turnover was up from £2.1m to £2.4m, with the companies reporting losses before taxation of £1.8m and £2.6m respectively.

"Williams has embarked on a long term strategy that combines visible success on the track with an ambitious diversification programme,” Chief Executive Officer Alex Burns confirmed, “The Williams brand and the intellectual property built up over many years of performing at the cutting edge of technological developments gives the Group a unique position in the global marketplace.

“Strong turnover in the year of £127.0m reflects our revenue from F1 and our ability to earn commercial returns from diversification. During the year, the Group made an overall loss before taxation of £5.0m. Revenue of £9.4m, received under the Bilateral Agreement with Formula One World Championship Limited, the sport's commercial rights holder, has not been included in these results because of the technical interpretation of today's accounting standards.”

The payment, received from Williams' decision to sign up to F1's latest commercial agreement cannot be included in the 2012 accounts as it would have to be repaid should the team pull out of the sport before the end of 2015. Being made to wait before being able to include it in the Group's accounts has resulted in WGPH slipping into the red after recording 2011's profit figure.

Despite the numbers, however, Burns is encouraged by the success of Williams' other business ventures.

"Highlights for Williams Hybrid Power included its flywheel technology being used in the winning Audi Le Mans entry, an agreement with Go-Ahead Group to develop flywheel technology for buses and a similar agreement with Alstom to develop a system for trams,” he noted, “Another milestone was the Group's fulfilment of its agreement with Jaguar Cars Limited to provide the motorsport expertise behind the development of the C-X75 hybrid supercar prototype. To accommodate the Group's plans to exploit the commercial applications of its technologies, 2012 also saw the start of construction of a new Williams Advanced Engineering facility at the Oxfordshire site.

“The growth of these new investment businesses at a time of global financial instability, evidenced by a rapid increase in revenue under the Williams Advanced Engineering brand from £16m (2011) to £38m (2012), puts us on a sound footing to deliver to our long term strategy."

Last year also saw the F1 team return to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2004, as Pastor Maldonado claimed an unexpected win in Barcelona. Hopes that the victory may lead Williams to bigger and better things on track in 2013 have yet to be realised, as the FW35 has struggled over the first four races, but founder and F1 team principal Sir Frank Williams remains optimistic.

"2012 saw Williams make encouraging progress on and off the track and we are determined to continue that upward trend in 2013,” he said, “The win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix was a particular highlight and we continue to develop strong sponsorship partnerships and engineering relationships.

“At the end of the year, the Williams F1 team finished eighth in the FIA F1 world constructors' championship. There is still a way to go for the team to get to where we should be, but improvements on previous seasons are evident."


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