20/02/2020 - 22:44

Eagles post bumper profit

20/02/2020 - 22:44

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The West Coast Eagles have reinforced their status as the financial powerhouse of the AFL, increasing revenue to $88.7 million and annual profit to $8 million, according to financial statements lodged with the corporate regulator.

Eagles post bumper profit
The Eagles have 91,747 members, second highest in the AFL.

The West Coast Eagles have reinforced their status as the financial powerhouse of the AFL, increasing revenue to $88.7 million and annual profit to $8 million, according to financial statements lodged with the corporate regulator.

The club increased revenue by 7.7 per cent to $88.7 million for the year to October 31 2019.

That was on top of the massive 28 per cent surge in revenue achieved in 2018, when the Eagles won the AFL premiership.

The only other AFL club to have higher revenue is reigning premiers Richmond, which enjoyed a 15 per cent surge in 2019 revenue to $92 million.

However, the Eagles are substantially more profitable.

While Richmond recorded a small drop in annual profit to $4.1 million, the Eagles reported a 5.3 per cent increase in operating profit to $8 million.

The Eagles financial performance is detailed in the FY19 annual return lodged by the club’s parent company Indian Pacific Ltd with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

It comes just days after the Fremantle Dockers reported a fall in revenue to $57.8 million and a $1.6 million annual loss.

The Eagles' financial statements show a total surplus for the year of $21.8 million.

That’s after adding ‘development funding’ of $13.1 million and ‘Subiaco lease finalisation’ of $727,000 to the club’s operating profit. (These items were not explained.)

At its balance date of October 31, it had accumulated surpluses of $88 million and total equity of $99 million.

That’s an extraordinarily strong financial position for the club and compares to the Dockers’ total equity of just $13.6 million.

The Eagles enjoyed growth in most revenue lines in 2019 and ranked ahead of the Dockers on just about every financial metric.

Merchandise sales jumped 52 per cent to $5.9 million, versus $1.3 million at the Dockers.

Membership revenue was up 6 per cent to $26.5 million while for the Dockers it fell 10 per cent to $18.5 million.

The Eagles' corporate hospitality revenue ($14.2 million) and sponsorship income ($8.1 million) also grew.

The profit was after paying a $4 million profit-based royalty to the WA Football Commission, versus $1.3 million for the Dockers.

Chairman Russell Gibbs attributed the 2019 financial results to the club’s on-field performance, strong attendances, excellent corporate and sponsor support and benefits associated with winning the 2018 premiership.

Mr Gibbs said the company’s profits in future years would materially reduce.

He attributed this to increased operational costs associated with its move to new facilities in Lathlain, the costs of fielding an AFLW team and the “anticipated reduction in return from our investment portfolios,” Mr Gibbs wrote in the annual report.

Mr Gibbs added that revenue was also clearly determined by on-field performance and other factors.

The club said it had 91,747 members, placing it second in the competition.

It sits behind Richmond with about 103,000 members, while the Dockers are ranked 12th with about 51,000 members.

The annual reports also disclosed that senior management at the Eagles were much better paid than their counterparts at the Dockers.

Ten key management personnel at the Eagles were paid short-term benefits of $3.6 million.

This group comprises chief executive Trevor Nisbett, the club’s CFO and COO and seven general managers.

At the Dockers, 14 key management personnel were paid a total of $2.2 million (not including termination benefits).

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