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February 7, 2013
Warwickshire have announced an operating loss of £668,000 for 2012, as the legacy of a rain-lashed season and the development of Edgbaston took the edge off their County Championship success. The figure represents a big turnaround on the £327,000 profit from 2011, although the increased overheads associated with the ground had been expected and the club said it was "satisfied" with the results.
Despite Warwickshire's title victory and a run to the CB40 final at Lord's, the wet weather struck at particularly inopportune times. Three days of the Edgbaston Test between England and West Indies were washed out, as was the Australia ODI in July and Warwickshire's lucrative Friends Life t20 fixture against Worcestershire. A further £1.4m hit to the accounts came from a full year of depreciation being included after the redevelopment of Edgbaston.
There was a small drop in turnover, from £11.7m to £11.5m, reflecting England's less attractive Test opponents but earnings before tax and other costs were taken into account fell to £755,000, from £1m in 2011. Unlike the depreciation and loan interest from the Edgbaston upgrade, the poor weather had not been budgeted for, although the club were able to insure against some losses.
"It is always very difficult to compare our year on year financial results given the popularity of the Major Match fixture list from one year to the next," Craig Flindall, Warwickshire's financial director, said.
"The relative attractiveness of staging the Test match against India in 2011, compared with the West Indies in 2012, meant that a reduction in revenue and profits was always expected and budgeted for. The exceptionally bad weather did nothing to improve this situation, however, the club mitigated the impact of the weather by reducing costs where possible and taking out insurance to cover the catering revenue for the ODI and international T20 matches."
Income from conferencing and events increased for the second consecutive year, reflecting the additional revenue potential for Edgbaston outside of cricket. Despite missing out on an Ashes Test, in 2013 the ground will host the Champions Trophy final and a number of group games, as well as an ODI against Australia and FLt20 finals day.
The winter has seen changes at Warwickshire, with Dougie Brown replacing Ashley Giles as director of cricket, but further success on the field should help ease any financial concerns.
Colin Povey, Warwickshire's chief executive, said: "2012 was a year that presented us with significant operational challenges but this result shows a growing resilience in our operations. We have made considerable progress in recent times but we need to continue that trend in the years ahead. We already have a clear strategy and solid operational plans in place for 2013 and beyond."
Warwickshire's loss eclipses the £254,000 deficit announced by Leicestershire last week. The 2012 summer was the wettest in 100 years and made life challenging for several counties, although many are used to tightening their belts and so far Somerset, Worcestershire and Northants have all recorded profits.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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