Wed, 16 May 2018
TURNOVER and growth at Newbury Racecourse continue to rise as the cost of redeveloping the course rises to £21m.
In its preliminary results for 2017 the racecourse posted a total turnover of £17.81m, up five per cent on last year, and profit before tax of £0.48m, which included £0.29m of exceptional profits.
Total attendance for the year increased by 10.7 per cent to 196,000, from 177,000 in 2016, with the two-day Ladbrokes Winter Carnival attracting more than 25,000 people.
2017 also saw no abandonments, compared with three in the previous year.
Despite increased numbers the racecourse said its conference and events section had “a more difficult trading year,” with turnover down 26 per cent.
The company said that wider market conditions and the “inevitable short term impact of the construction works on the appearance of the venue” were contributing factors.
Chairman of Newbury Racecourse plc, Dominic Burke, said: “2017 saw us making further steady progress against our long term strategic plans, with a five per cent increase in turnover and improvements in trading performance across a number of areas of the business.
“We made excellent headway on the redevelopment of the racecourse, with the new Owners and Trainers facility and eastern entrance building opened during the year and good progress on the other heartspace works.
“We were also pleased to obtain planning permission in August for the redevelopment of the Pall Mall building, expected to be completed by the spring of 2019.
“The David Wilson Homes residential development continues to progress in line with our expectations, being now more than halfway completed and homes continue to sell well.
“As our vision for the new Newbury Racecourse emerges for all to see, we are grateful for the continued support and patronage of all our customers, horsemen and sponsors during this exciting transformation and remain confident in the delivery of the long term business objectives.”
Work on the 1,480 home development at the course has passed the halfway mark, with around 870 now built. The racecourse said that demand for new homes on the site remained strong and that sales were in line with expectations.
The redevelopment of the course itself is also steaming ahead, seeing the completion of the new Eastern Entrance in July, followed by the opening of the new Owners’ Club in October.
The next phase of heartspace works, which includes re-modelling the main parade ring and improvements to the customer areas behind the stands, is due to be completed by the end of 2018.
And an estimated £5.17m upgrade of the Pall Mall stand will take the company’s total projected redevelopment investment to an estimated £21m.
Elsewhere, the Rocking Horse Nursery witnessed a 30 per cent (£300,000) growth in revenue, with turnover increasing to £1.3m.
A further boost in turnover from The Lodge hotel of 76 per cent (£270,000) year on year, overall racing revenues increasing by four per cent (£0.57m) saw like for like growth in racing revenues stand at £130,000.
Cash receipts from David Wilson Homes from the sale of properties in 2017 were £3.15m, which the racecourse said matched its expectations.