The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today filed its annual report and consolidated financial statements for 2019. The accounts can be found here.
Owing to the unique circumstances in 2020 it was felt that the usual publication of a full annual report to supplement the filing of accounts was not the best use of industry resources. Instead the BHA’s Chief Executive, Nick Rust, has published a short summary of the year to augment the strategic report featured in the accounts.
In his summary, Nick Rust reflects on the equine influenza outbreak, Brexit, the impact on the Levy of the Government’s Gambling Review of 2018 and the formation of the Horse Welfare Board, amongst other notable events in a busy year for the sport.
The BHA’s audited accounts for 2019 show an operating loss of £767k, slightly greater than the budgeted-for deficit of £478k. This was due primarily to increased activity, including formation of the Horse Welfare Board and one-off costs associated with an industry project looking at creating an economic model which helps understand the drivers of Racing’s income and the fixture list.
Much of this activity, in particular the economic modelling and the work of the Welfare Board, will play an essential role in the sport’s resilience to, and recovery from, the coronavirus crisis, as outlined in the industry’s recently published Coronavirus recovery plan.
Operational deficits are expected to increase in 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis, however significant savings and efficiencies have also been enacted already by the BHA to mitigate this impact as much as possible which saved the industry up to £1m per month while racing was suspended. These include the use of Government help schemes, pay cuts for BHA staff and Board, cost savings linked to efficiencies in the Fixture List and the negotiation of a rent freeze on the BHA’s head office.