Financial performance and investment
Against this background, Leicester Tigers turnover fell in the financial year to 30 June 2012 to £17.3 million (2011: £19.5 million) and Tigers recorded an operating loss of £1.037 million.
A large proportion of the fall in turnover was due to outsourcing the Club’s merchandising activities to Kitbag, although this yielded a significantly improved profit contribution in its first year of operation. Also included is the effect of an absence of an International friendly fixture.
Whilst this is a disappointing outcome, the financial health of the Club enables it to absorb this temporary shortfall without damaging its long-term fiscal position or prospects.
During the year the Club raised a further £2.6 million from a share issue, enabling it to repay a significant proportion of its bank lending. Some £1.2 million of loan notes were converted into equity, resulting in reduced interest payments going forward.
Tigers’ board has always been committed to supporting the playing squad fully and the Club has continued to invest in world-class support and medical facilities for its players. This strategy, whilst financially challenging at times, has seen Leicester Tigers become the leading club in England and one of the most successful in world rugby.
Viewing figures for last season show that Tigers attracted the highest average television audience in the Aviva Premiership and as coverage increases, so too should the value of Leicester Tigers’ brand.
Sponsorship, season ticket sales and match ticket sales, as well as increased numbers of younger supporters on matchdays, provide optimism for the future. Season ticket numbers for the 2012/13 season are at an all-time high, exceeding the Club’s expectations, and this is a tribute to both the strength of support for Tigers and the professionalism of the business.
Great strides have been made in reducing the cost-base of the business and this, combined with an anticipated increase in revenue, means the Club can look forward to a stronger financial position in the coming year.
Peter Tom CBE, chairman, commented:
“On behalf of the board, I thank every one of the players and staff who worked so hard during a particularly difficult season to achieve these great results.
“We have very successful relationships with our sponsors and commercial partners, and we continue to develop links with leading companies in many fields.
“The amazingly passionate and loyal support enjoyed by Tigers is exemplified by this year’s season ticket sales, which topped 2011/12 levels by mid-July. We have more family groups and young supporters than ever before, adding to the many thousands of our longstanding supporters, many of whom represent several generations of the same families.”