New Zealand makes healthy profit from hosting 2011 Rugby World Cup
Saturday, 14 April 2012
April 14 - The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has reported a profit of NZ$9.6 million (£5 million/$£7.9 million/€6 million) from hosting last year's World Cup.
The figure helped the NZRU post a NZ$13.4 million (£6.9 million/$11 million/€8.4 million) overall profit, and wiped out the previous year's losses of NZ$9.4 million (£4.9 million/$7.7 million/€5.9 million).
It confirmed a highly successful tournament, both on and off the field, for the Kiwis, whose All Blacks team ended years of near misses at the World Cup by lifting the coveted Webb Ellis trophy last October (pictured below).
One area of concern, however, was an operating loss of NZ$3.1 million (£1.6 million/$2.6 million/€2 million) which, if repeated in future years, could cause problems, admitted NZRU chief executive Steve Tew (pictured above).
"We are budgeting to break even in 2012," he said.
"In recent years we have run operating losses which had been financed from our strong reserve position.
"While this is not sustainable in the long term, it has been critical in allowing us to maintain our investment in the game and to assist provincial unions in these difficult times."
Tew continued: "Like all businesses we are working hard to contain costs while also exploring opportunities to grow revenue.
"The relocation of some key commercial staff to an Auckland office is one part of that strategy, giving us a cost effective way of working more closely with existing sponsors and partners and to better develop new opportunities."
The challenging financial climate against which the NZRU is operating was emphasised by the recent bail-out of the Otago Rugby Football Union which was saved following a donation of NZ$500,000 (£260,000/$412,000/€315,000).
The NZRU has also given NZ$18.6 million (£9.7 million/$15.3 million/€11.7 million) to provincial unions and rugby franchises in 2011.
"The environment continues to be incredibly challenging and we're going to have work very hard to survive," stressed Tew.
"That's the reality for all small businesses at the moment right through the Western world."