- 2014 profit $373,000
- Cash reserves strong at $62.6 million
- ITM Cup Unions record third successive combined surplus
New Zealand Rugby is in the black for the third year in a row after announcing a profit of $373,000 for the 2014 financial year.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chief Executive Steve Tew said the result was pleasing.
“It’s very satisfying to have matched another great year on the field with a solid performance off it which means we face the future with continued confidence.”
NZR’s revenue in 2014 rose $4m to $120.8m. Sponsorship income increased following the signing of new agreements with Jockey to sponsor the All Blacks and All Blacks Sevens and with MyRepublic for the Northern Tour. In addition, NZR renewed long standing sponsorships with Ford, Lion, Nissui and Bulgari.
“We played two additional revenue share Tests in 2014, compared to only one in 2013; the Bledisloe Test in Brisbane and the sold-out historic Test in Chicago,” said Tew. “Chicago was extremely successful and was a hugely valuable opportunity to grow the profile of the All Blacks and rugby generally in the USA.”
Tew said the rise in expenditure in 2014 reflected a number of decisions to invest further in the game across all levels in line with NZR’s improved financial outlook.
Last year marked the first full year of additional funding for Provincial Unions following the mid-term review of the current cycle of funding. Along with higher grants for unions, NZR established a contestable fund to allow unions to invest in strategic initiatives. It also invested in the new Jock Hobbs Memorial Under 19 Tournament which aims to improve the pathway for players from secondary school rugby to higher levels of the game.
“We increased our investment in other key parts of the game,” said Tew. “This included an extra $1.6m in on and off field costs for the All Blacks to ensure we are in the best possible shape particularly as the team builds towards Rugby World Cup.
“We increased our investment in the All Blacks Sevens and New Zealand Women’s Sevens teams to assist their build-up to the Rio Olympics in 2016. We have a strategic goal to win two golds so resourcing these teams is critical to their chances of success next year.”
There was also additional investment in the Black Ferns World Cup campaign.
NZR’s overall financial position remained strong. Cash reserves closed the year at $62.6 million. This was a drop of $1m on 2013 due to prepaying some expenditure in 2014 which related to the 2015 financial year.
Tew said NZR was reviewing its overall investment plan including funding to Provincial Unions, Super Rugby teams and its cash reserves policy this year once the renewed broadcast contracts covering the 2016-2020 period were finalised and the revenue stream confirmed.
“We are very satisfied with the significant uplift we expect to receive which will further underpin the game’s financial security over the medium term.”
Provincial Unions record another combined surplus
The combined surplus of the 14 ITM Cup unions in 2014 was $1.2m, marking the third successive year of combined surpluses. This was down on 2013 ($3.3m) and four unions slipped back into the red.
“Much good work has been undertaken by unions in recent years to work smarter and look for innovative ways to grow commercial income so it’s great news to see another collective surplus,” said Tew.
“That included more progress on one of the key costs that unions must bear. In 2014 the overall spend on player salaries fell just over $1m or 7 per cent to $14.4 million.
“However, the smaller surplus underlines the fact that challenges to grow income and contain costs remain and we will continue to offer advice and support as needed.”
2014 Annual Result summary
Note: Further financial information will be released at the New Zealand Rugby Union Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 23 April, 2015 in Wellington.