• Pre-tax profits of £6.1m (2017 £6.2m) underpinned by balanced income streams
  • Increased investment in facilities (£5.4m - up 15%) and prize money (£13.45m excluding QIPCO British Champions Day – up 10%)
  • Continued positive balance sheet management - net debt reduced to £50.6m
  • Ascot Racecourse today announces its financial results for the 12 months ending 31st December 2018. Ascot Authority (Holdings) Limited (AAHL) reported a pre-tax profit of £6.1 million.

Highlights

- Turnover up 6.9% due to a strong performance from admissions and fine dining at Royal Ascot, improved returns from boxes and increased income from sponsorship and Official Supplier agreements; Longines upgrade from Official Supplier to Official Partner, a new Official Supplier arrangement with Fever-Tree and renewals from Stella Artois, Lavazza and Harrogate Water;
 
- Increased investment in racecourse facilities and offerings, including new dining facilities at Royal Ascot and the implementation of a comprehensive planned preventative maintenance programme now that the Grandstand is over 10 years old;

- Increase in prize money to a record £13.45 million (excluding QIPCO British Champions Day) up 10%/£1.2 million (2017: £12.2 million);

- £10m of the bank loan was repaid during the year, £3.4m more than the mandatory payment;
 
- Net debt at 31 December 2018 was £50.6m (2017: £59.8m), ahead of the repayment schedule;

- Continued major capital expenditure (£4.5m) with the start of the £8m eight-year box refurbishment programme, the second phase of the wayfinding and signage completed, betting equipment purchased, the first phase of upgrading the fire alarm system and office refurbishment;
 
- 2019 trading to date in line with management expectations - Royal Ascot looks set for another strong year;
 
- The launch of Bet with Ascot in partnership with Totepool in July 2018.  The new World Pool partnership with Totepool and the Hong Kong Jockey Club launches at Royal Ascot in 2019.  Approximately 30 individual pools from 10 countries are expected to bet into the world’s first ever worldwide pool betting collaboration;

- Around 250 charities benefit in some way from Ascot’s support each year under the “Ascot Supports” CSR programme. Ascot’s partnership with the Berkshire Community Foundation ensures that local charities benefit direct. The Ascot division of the Round Table has raised over £200,000 at the fireworks raceday in recent years and Ascot’s Property Raceday raises just under £200,000 per annum for children’s charities. From 2015 - 2018, Ascot raised £1.5m for The Prince’s Countryside Fund and over £180,000 has been donated to a range of local, military and racing related charities. 
 
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot, said: “2018 was another year of balanced progress in our overall financial performance, with Royal Ascot performing particularly well.  

“The business continues to deliver on its policy of balanced sustainable income streams to drive investment in (1) facilities and infrastructure; (2) prize money; (3) venue and customer experience;  and (4) international engagement; alongside our debt repayment programme. 

“We are grateful to all our partners, sponsors and customers for their continued support. I also wish to thank and pay tribute to our dedicated staff, full time and raceday, for all their efforts in delivering another strong performance all round.”

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