Wasps Holdings Limited - Annual results for the year ended 30 June 2015

Wasps Holdings Limited - Annual results ended 30 June 2015


Wasps, an English Premiership rugby union club and owner of the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, one of the UK's leading sports, exhibition, conferencing and entertainment arenas, today announces its results for the year ended 30 June 2015. The results announced today reflect the first five months of the year spent at Adams Park, the club’s former home ground, and the remainder of the year following the acquisition of Arena Coventry Limited (“ACL”), the owner of the Ricoh Arena, and move in December 2014. Wasps played 9 of 16 home fixtures at the Ricoh Arena in the 2014/15 season.  

Results are presented under IFRS for the first time including restatement of 2013/14 results.  ACL (and IEC Experience Limited (“IEC”)) are consolidated for nine months of the financial year. 

Group Financial highlights
• Revenue increased 229% to £21.4m
• EBITDA improved by £2.3m to (£1.7m)
• Operating loss before exceptional items and profit allocation improved by £1.6m to (£2.4m)1
• Cash balance £12.3m
• £35m raised by sister company Wasps Finance Plc through 6.5% Secured Retail Bond due 2022, listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Order Book for Retail Bonds 
• Exceeded minimum target of £25m 
• Asset cover ratio 1.9x; Bond covenant set at 1.4x
• Revaluation of the Arena to £48.5m, an uplift of £29.3m

Wasps Rugby highlights
• Twice breaking the record attendance in a home Premiership fixture 
• Average attendance at the new Arena: 19,168 since the move in December 2014, up 116% on the previous year
• Total average attendance of 11,401 (Adams Park and Ricoh Arena combined), up 29% on the previous year
• New multi-year partnerships announced including:
• Front of Shirt Sponsor: Land Rover
• Technical Apparel Partner: Under Armour
• Data Partner and Shirt Sponsor: EMC
• Nutrition Partner: EQ Nutrition
• Sixth place finish in the Premiership, securing European Rugby Champions Cup qualification
• Ticket income up 42% on previous year with increased hospitality sales
• New TV deal with BT Sport for Premiership and European Rugby has enabled the significant investment in the playing squad and support staff
• New additions to the squad, including: George Smith, Frank Halai, Charles Piutau and Jimmy Gopperth
• Plans are progressing well for the new training facility

ACL highlights
• Increased conference and exhibition business with confirmed bookings up over 15% on 2013/14
• New multi-year partnerships announced including:
• New pouring rights awarded to Heineken in conjunction with Purity Real Ale and Majestic Wines 
• New 15 year venue services agreement with Compass
• Conversion of the hotel in the Arena to a DoubleTree by Hilton
• Xtragrass pitch installed which will benefit both Wasps and Coventry City FC
• Railway station construction complete, opening 2015, funded by third parties

1 Exceptional items include one off costs of the move and Retail Bond

David Armstrong, Group Chief Executive said:

“We are pleased to publish this first set of results which reflect the positive impact acquiring and moving to the Ricoh Arena has had on our club. This has been the busiest year in the club’s history and the successes we have had have exceeded our own expectations, from the record breaking home crowds to the new partners that have joined us in the past year, which include Jaguar Land Rover, EMC, Under Armour, Heineken and Hilton. Revenue and EBITDA are in line with expectations and the performance in the nine months since we acquired the Arena demonstrates the combined benefits of bringing together Wasps and ACL and gives us confidence for the future of the Club. Wasps is now owner of the one of the UK’s leading multi-purpose venues for sport, business, and entertainment and we now have a home that supports our rugby and commercial ambitions.  

“We have also successfully refinanced the business. In April 2015 we raised £35 million through a Retail Bond listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Order Book for Retail Bonds, the first professional sports team to have ever raised money in this way and creating a firm financial footing for the Group going forward.

“The last year has been transformational for Wasps I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters, both old and new, and everyone involved both on and off the field. I am excited about the year ahead and look forward to continue building momentum in the 2015/16 season.”

The full report and accounts are available here.  A webcast presentation for Wasps Finance PLC Bondholders will be held on Wednesday 4 November, for more details please CLICK HERE

- Ends -

For more information please contact

Melissa Platt T: +44 (0)208 896 4871

Bell Pottinger T: +44 (0)203 772 2582
Victoria Geoghegan
Elizabeth Snow

About Wasps and the Ricoh Arena
Wasps is a professional rugby team which plays in the Aviva Premiership, European Rugby Champions Cup. Wasps has been crowned European Champions twice and English Champions five times. For more information about the Club and our partners please visit www.wasps.co.uk
The Ricoh Arena is an award-winning venue which has a mix of state-of the-art conference, banqueting, exhibition, hotel, music and sports facilities. Visited by over 1.2million people each year, it is a firm favourite in the UK for music promoters as well as business and sports event organisers. The facilities include:
• 32,600 seat stadium; a concert venue of 40,500 capacity
• 121 room hotel
• One of the UK's largest casinos
• 20,000sqm of conference and exhibition hall
• 3 restaurants, 5 bars
• 2,000 onsite car parking bays

Wasps acquired Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the owner of the Arena, in Autumn 2014. Wasps now owns and operates the Ricoh Arena. Since Wasps acquired and moved to the Ricoh Arena in December 2014, have seen Wasps' match-day crowds triple, averaging 19,168 per match, hospitality covers increasing from an average of 150 covers over 800 per game..
The combination of Wasps and the Ricoh Arena creates a symbiotic relationship between these businesses through complementary interests across sponsors, media, exhibition organisers and conference hosts. Additionally there are considerable marketing synergies across the retail/consumer customer groups, including rugby and football fans themselves.
As a result of the acquisition of ACL, Wasps has already secured key, blue-chip partnerships including Land Rover as main club sponsor, whose parent company Jaguar Land Rover Limited was already a sponsor of the main exhibition hall at the Arena, as well as EMC Computer Systems (UK) Limited as shirt sponsor.
Strategies are being implemented with the aim that the Group will become a market-leading sports and events group, with elite sport at the heart of its business; it recently hosted Davis Cup tennis, the Champion of Champions snooker tournament and the British Gymnastics Championship and the addition of Premiership Rugby has further raised the profile of the Arena in the sports world. The Group also plans to grow the conference and exhibition capabilities into the UK's market leader for the medium to large venue sector, leveraging the unique combination of facilities that the Arena has to offer and further underpinned by the brand profile of the Club and its sponsors.