Newbury Racecourse sales rise despite impact of equine flu outbreak

Newbury Racecourse has reported higher revenues in the first six months of 2019 despite being impacted by the outbreak of equine flu in February.

The racecourse business said that it lost an important race day after racing was suspended for a week when the disease broke out a racing yard.

However, revenues jumped 3% to £7.57 million for the period to June 30 after it was buoyed by rising media and events related revenues.

Media related revenues rose 4% to £2.4 million after new contractual agreements came into place in April 2018.

The business also benefited from increased attendances, which rose 3% to 53,219, up from 51,593 in the same period last year.

Catering revenues meanwhile rose by 9% to £1.37 million, driven by an 8% increase in the average spend per customer.

The conference and events division reported a 86% rise in revenues to £650,000 for the six-month period on the back of a “re-focused sales strategy”.

Despite rising revenues, Newbury saw its losses deepen to £220,000 for the period from a £140,000 loss in the first six months of 2018.

Dominic Burke, chairman of Newbury Racecourse, said: “We are pleased with the continued progress made in the first six months of 2019.

“Total turnover growth was 3%, despite the loss of a race day to the equine influenza outbreak, with attendance during the period up 3% year on year.

“We expect some challenges around LBO (licensed betting office) revenues in the second half of 2019, but with two incredibly strong music events and continued positive trends in our non-racing businesses, we remain confident in the financial outturn for the remainder of 2019, in line with our long term strategy.”

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