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IOC reports healthy profit in Winter Olympics year

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reported a profit of $165.1m (€145.3m) for 2018, boosted by income of $2.2bn in the year of the winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

The figures were contained in the IOC’s annual report. The IOC’s operations are based on four-year periods called Olympiads, during which a summer Games, a winter Games and a Youth Olympic Games are held. The Olympiad currently under review covers the period 2017 to 2020, with 2018 including South Korea’s winter Olympics.

The IOC’s total revenue for 2018 included $1.436bn from broadcasting rights and $550.1m from the ‘TOP’ marketing programme. Expenditure included $603.7m related to the Olympic Games and $1.15bn in revenue distributed to local organising committees, National Olympic Committees and International Federations.

The IOC said it stands in a “healthy and strong” financial position as of December 31, 2018. Total assets stood at $4.1bn. Cash and other financial assets, totalling $3.7bn, represent 89 per cent of the IOC’s total financial position. The IOC’s total liabilities of $1.7bn represent 41 per cent of its total financial position. The report stated: “This is more than fully covered by the IOC’s current assets, illustrating the IOC’s overall financial health and long-term sustainability.”

Thanks to the success of PyeongChang 2018, the IOC was able to recognise revenue from the Games and distribute a record amount for any winter Olympics. Following the Games, PyeongChang 2018 (POCOG) president Lee Hee-beom stated that the event returned a multi-million dollar surplus.

The IOC had earlier announced that POCOG recorded a balanced budget of $2.4bn for the 2018 Games, which included an additional $400m in costs that are not normally considered as an organising committee’s budget responsibility.

The IOC redistributes 90 per cent of its revenue from an Olympiad to support the staging of the Olympic Games and promote the worldwide development of sport and the Olympic Movement. The IOC retains 10 per cent of Olympic revenue for IOC activities to develop sport and to cover the operational costs of governing the Olympic Movement.

Writing in the report, IOC president Thomas Bach said: “In this Olympic spirit, and building on the momentum from this past year, we can look ahead to the future with confidence and optimism.”