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Chairman praises all-round support for Tigers

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Chairman Peter Tom described Leicester Tigers' support as the "bedrock" on which the club has been built at the Annual General Meeting this week.

Reporting a record annual turnover of just under £20million – an increase of six per cent on the previous year – and an operating profit of £600,000, Mr Tom saluted the club’s supporters and commercial partners, including a number of new sponsors.

“Our supporters are the bedrock on which Leicester Tigers has been built over many generations,” he said.

“We have wonderful support home and away. I would like to thank the supporters for the passion they have for the Tigers. It is very much appreciated by the players.

“I want also to thank our club sponsors and business partners – especially our main club sponsor Caterpillar – for their support, and for helping to raise the profile of Leicester Tigers around the world.

"Thanks too, to our Academy vice-presidents, whose financial support is helping us maintain a productive academy and youth development programme.”

Highlights of the annual accounts included a record £6million income from ticket sales (up five per cent on the previous year), matchday hospitality sales of £2.6million (up 4%), all executive boxes and 1880 Club memberships sold in advance, conference & events income of £1.1million (up 11%) and Tigers Events Limited record sales of £2.1million (up 28%).

Peter Tom thanked sponsors and welcomed new commercial partners including John Lewis, Adams Foods, Chester Barrie, Crusha and Kitbag, all leading brands in their respective fields.

He said: “Despite a difficult and challenging market place, I am delighted to report that last year we achieved a record turnover of just under £20million – a year on year increase of six per cent - and our operating profit was £600,000 – almost double that of the previous year.

“This was an excellent trading performance and it reflects well on the strength and appeal of the Leicester Tigers brand and the quality of people we have working at the club.”

Looking at the strength of club rugby as a whole, Mr Tom added: “Some commentators have questioned the financial strength of the Aviva Premiership, but there is still substantial investment coming into the clubs.

“We have a wonderful product for spectators and we should be celebrating what has been achieved and focusing on the opportunities that lie ahead.

“At Leicester, I believe we are in a strong position to continue to build brand value in Tigers, both through our performance on and off the field.

“We are getting gates of 20,000 plus – by far the highest in the Premiership. We have built a magnificent new Caterpillar Stand and have the biggest and finest dedicated club rugby stadium in the country.

“And we are actively continuing to progress plans for construction of a new Holland & Barrett Stand and multi-storey car park in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

“We have no intention of standing still and we look forward to the coming year with great enthusiasm.”

Executive director Peter Wheeler reported on the politics of the club game at domestic, European and world level, and praised the club’s conditioning, medical and scouting set-up as well as the playing squad and coaching team.

He added: “Our Academy produced eight players for the World Cup, five players for England Under-20s plus one for France, Ireland and Scotland, and the first English winner of the IRB World Junior Player of the Year.

“With our best players in the team we are a real challenge for anyone, home or away.”

The formal business of the annual meeting included the re-election to the Board of David Abell and Garry Adey, and the re-appointment of Simon Cohen and Tom Scott.