The Jockey Club, which operates 15 racecourses, including Aintree, Sandown Park, Cheltenham and Newmarket, has recorded record annual revenue in 2017.
Revenues were £201.1 m, + 5.2% in 2016, with a profit before a cash prize up to £44.8 m € 43.4 m.
Prize money was an increase of 10.1% to a record of £22.9 m. Which meant that the profit after the prize money fell slightly to € 21.9 m.
The Jockey Club boss, Simon Bazalgette said he was pleased “for the ninth consecutive year of sales growth”.’Good progress’
He said that the turnover has broken the £200m mark for the first time, had been driven by an increase in general admission revenues, hospitality revenues, partnership revenues and media revenues.
“Looking ahead, we are increasing the prize money even further in 2018 and we are continuing to invest in the experience we offer to clients and participants,” he said.
Mr Bazalgette added: “we are making some good steps forward in terms of our efforts to involve more people in the country, in our sport, which is vital for the future.”
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group in British horseracing. It is governed by Royal Charter, with all profits invested back into the sport.
About 1.9 million people have attended his 334 race-days at the national level last year, and a further 2 million people have attended his places for recreational activities and events, such as concerts.
The Jockey Club says it has doubled its turnover to 90% by 2008, its first full year operating solely as a commercial group. At the same time, the group operating profit before prize money is increased by 39%, and its contribution to prize money was increased by almost 75%.
The organization has outlined plans to increase its contribution to prize money by a record £4.2 m in 2018, that would have taken his contribution to a new maximum of £27.1 m.’Watching brief’
A potential challenge to the Jockey Club faces in the near future is the effect of a reduction of the maximum bet allowed on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which is managed by UK bookies.
There are proposals for so-and-slash the maximum bet allowed on these gaming machines from £100 per spin to £2. If the proposal goes ahead, the gambling companies are warning that their profits may fall, which means that 10% of the profits levy is charged to the Jockey Club in support of British racing would fall.
“It’s fair to say British racing faces a commercial impact on the horizon linked to the outcome of the FOBTs consultation, and the impact that this has on the betting industry,” said a Jockey Club spokesman.
“Watching brief, at this stage, and clearly, the Jockey Club, which has diversified our revenue streams, so we are a solid business – as shown through the difficult economic times – but where any flows are to be connected, in the field of betting then you can expect a certain level of impact”.
They added that the current financial year had started positively, with the Cheltenham Festival attracts a record 262,637 people in four days in the month of March.
In the meantime, the Grand National Festival 2018 were sold out on both ladies Day and Grand National Day, while the welcoming 153,500 people throughout the three days of events in the month of April.