Increased income from sponsorship has been cited as a key reason for Royal Ascot racecourse reporting another year of financial growth in 2017.
The racecourse saw pre-tax profits rise from £5.1m to £6.2m, with it reporting strong performance from admission and fine dining at the course, as well as it reaping the benefits of various Official Supplier agreements such as Christy’s, St James’s Place, Pernod Ricard, Porsche and Cunard throughout the year.
Additionally, after its turnover increased by 6.7% the course affirmed its plans to launch AscotBet in partnership with Totepool, Ascot’s pool betting operation in July 2018.
Commenting on the results, Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot stated: “2017 was another year of progress in our financial performance, with Royal Ascot performing particularly well. The opening of the new Village Enclosure on the inside of the track, in which we have further invested, was positively received and has generated strong sales for 2018.
“Operational improvement and site maintenance remained a key focus for us last year and that continues to be the case. We have just embarked on an extensive 10 year Planned Preventative Maintenance project, it now being 12 years since our £220 million redevelopment, under which mainly through our P&L we will be investing around an additional £2m per annum into maintaining our core racecourse facilities. We are also now in the second year of a three-year process to roll out our new brand on site, which includes significant emphasis on wayfinding.
“Prize-money, excluding the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day in October, will increase by £1.2 million in 2018 and the continuing growth in our international reach and appeal is pleasing. We are delighted that the Hong Kong Jockey Club will be simulcasting a fourth day of Royal Ascot this year and look forward to the launch of Bet With Ascot, our pool betting operation, in partnership with Totepool, in July.”
He added: “We thank all our partners, sponsors, customers and staff for their continued support in delivering another year of improvement all round.”
The course also continued its strong work with charities, detailing that around 250 charities benefit in some way from Ascot’s support each year and a partnership with the Berkshire Community Foundation ensures that local charities benefit direct.
The Ascot division of the Round Table have raised over £200,000 at the fireworks raceday in recent years and Ascot’s Property Raceday raises just under £200,000 per annum for children’s charities. From 2015 – 2017, Ascot raised £1.1m for The Prince’s Countryside Fund and over £20,000 has been raised for the Injured Jockeys Fund, via Ascot’s ambassador programme.