Turnover for F1’s commercial activities exceeded $1 billion last year, according to annual figures released by Formula One Administration, which represents a $19 million increase on the previous year. The teams’ share increased by $114 million to $658 million.
The interesting thing about the FOA accounts is that the sport has been able to marginally increase revenues at a time when the world has been going through a severe economic downturn. The addition of new races obviously contributes to the rise, as do new Global Partner deals like the ones with UBS, DHL and LG as well as new TV rights deals and renewals.
However it doesn’t match up to what was expected when the debt was taken out on the business shortly after CVC took a stake in 2005. According to a document produced by RBS and Lehman Brothers in 2006, when the F1 debt package was offered to the markets, the projected turnover for 2010 was expected to be $1.28 billion, while payments to teams for 2010 were projected at $622m, lower than the amount they got. It’s interesting to compare these with the reality. Growth was expected to be 5.1% compared to 2009.
We heard from Jean Todt at the weekend that he would like to review the FIA’s share of the commercial revenues of the sport and the teams will also be looking to increase their share when the parties sit down to discuss the new agreement.
There is a lot of positioning and messaging going on at the moment from the various parties, but the hard talk has yet to start.