Club News Lucky 13 as Northampton Saints plc financial success continues
The record run of financial success enjoyed by Northampton Saints plc is continuing for another year, with the parent company of Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton Saints RFC announcing a record turnover and a 13th consecutive year of profitability.
Northampton Saints plc released its annual accounts this week, which revealed a dramatic increase in turnover during the financial year ending May 31st, 2013, to £13.34 million, up half a million pounds from 2012.
The company also recorded a pre-tax profit of £328,628, which although down on the previous year reflects the record investment in the club’s playing effort. This was reflected by a first ever appearance in English rugby’s showpiece occasion and record numbers of players representing the club on the international stage at a variety of age groups.
Underpinning the off-field success was a £660,000 rise in commercial income, despite the club continuing its policy of freezing ticket prices for a fourth year and the continuing uncertain economic climate.
Chief executive Allan Robson says that this latest set of results re-iterated the importance of a strong and sustainable business model focused on balancing commercial needs and playing investment.
“We have demonstrated for well over a decade that a well-planned and thought out business model can work in professional rugby,” he commented. “It has been the long-standing objective of the Northampton Saints board of directors to maintain the fine balance between achieving financial stability and profitability with the investment needed to make the team successful on the pitch.
“Over recent seasons we have shown repeatedly that this policy can succeed, with the Saints team reaching six finals in the last six years, the club producing record numbers of international players, and the plc achieving profitable status year in, year out.
“None of this would be possible without the hard work of everyone behind the scenes at Franklin’s Gardens and the backing of our supporters, who filled the stadium to an average of 95 percent of its capacity during 2012/13, and our group of Elite Sponsors and Partners, who I believe are the best anywhere in English rugby.
“Nevertheless we are not sitting on our laurels, and looking forward things are more positive than at any stage I can remember. We have brought in world class players to add to an already strong squad, have welcomed two new Elite Sponsors in StubHub and the University of Northampton, established an exciting partnership with Northampton Borough Council, and confirmed our commitment to add two thousand more seats at Franklin’s Gardens in 2015. This coming season also sees the start of Premiership Rugby’s new broadcast partnership with BT Sport, which will take the club to a whole new audience.
“It is certainly an exciting time to be a part of Northampton Saints.”
Acting chairman Tony Hewitt said that the financial results were a sure sign that Northampton Saints is going in the right direction, despite a tumultuous year which included the untimely passing away of former chairman Leon Barwell in June.
“In all areas of the club people are putting in considerable time and effort to make Northampton Saints a continuing success story,” he said. “Allan and the commercial team are generating record levels of income, while Jim and the playing department are producing results on the field and players who are representing us with aplomb on the international stage.
“The quality of our squad is shown by the fact that 11 players represented their country during the season, with Tom Wood leading England to a first ever whitewash of Argentina on their own soil in the summer tour. Also encouraging is for the future is the number of players being produced by the Academy for the first team squad and the various England age group teams.
“Together this reflects our record investment into the playing effort, a policy we will be continuing in the coming years.
“We should also not overlook the work our community department is doing in Northampton and the surrounding area, not least the Study Centre, which has demonstrated that despite the withdrawal of County Council funding it can stand on its own two feet within the wider Saints organisation.
“Looking ahead, we are determined not to stand still. Our full planning application for the new North Stand will be submitted shortly with the expansion work pencilled in for the summer of 2015.
“We are well on the path to bringing long-term success to Franklin’s Gardens, and although Leon Barwell will be missed, we are determined to continue the legacy he created and to make him proud.”