The Jockey Club Pumps £400m Back into British Horse Racing as Profits Soar
April 21, 2015
The Jockey Club today announced its annual results, which reveal that the largest commercial group in British horseracing grew its business to record levels in 2014, with a sixth consecutive year of turnover growth, and used its resources to make record returns to the sport through contributions to prize money.
The results outline how a focus on maximising returns from The Jockey Club’s commercial operations have allowed it to pump more than £400 million into prize money and facilities for customers and facilities in the last decade.
The owner of some of the world’s leading racing festivals, including the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, The Cheltenham Festival, The Investec Derby Festival and the QIPCO Guineas Festival, The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to reinvest all profits into British racing.
In 2014, The Jockey Club grew its commercial operations for a sixth consecutive year to achieve record turnover of £171.2 million, up by 5.1 percent year-on-year (2013: £162.9 million) which is almost double UK economic growth in 2014.
Key to this turnover were ticket sales, particularly at the Group’s major racing festivals, hospitality and catering sales, media income, music nights and non-racing events at its venues.
This performance allowed The Jockey Club to contribute a record £19.1 million to prize money in 2014 – up from £18.2 million in 2013 – taking its prize money contribution in the last decade to £146.4 million.
In 2014, the Group also invested £34.1 million on new and upgraded facilities and maintaining standards and racing surfaces across its 15 racecourses nationwide; training grounds at Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs; the historic Jockey Club Rooms; and The National Stud.
This combined reinvestment in British racing through prize money and facilities of £55.2 million in 2014 was an increase of £21.7 million on the previous year.
After its record prize money contribution, in 2014 the Group generated its second-largest operating profit ever of £21.7 million. This was £0.3 million less than its 2013 record as a result of decision to increase its reinvestments in British racing.
Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to grow the business for a sixth successive year because it allows us to increase our dividend for British racing. By maximising returns from our commercial operations we’ve been able to invest more than £400 million into the sport in the last 10 years. We’ve done that through prize money and facilities for customers and participants, and also supporting the sport’s promotion.
“This is something our people feel very proud of and it is thanks to their hard work striving to give customers of all types the best possible experience and promoting British racing as a sport, nationwide. It’s also been essential because of racing’s flawed funding model where Britain remains the poor relation to other racing nations thanks to an outdated Levy system that needs replacing as quickly as possible.
“Racing brings enjoyment to millions of people each year and is responsible for tens of thousands of jobs. We take very seriously our role as stewards of some of its most iconic events, as well as our operations throughout all levels of the sport.”
For more info and to download the full Annual Review click HERE.
Watch our interview with Simon Bazalgette below.