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IOC’s pre-Covid-19 financial statement reveals $74m surplus for 2019

IOC president Thomas Bach (by DENIS BALIBOUSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee has reported a surplus of $73.9m (€63.6m/£57.6m) for 2019, its largest ever for a non-Games year.

The IOC’s strong income growth for the year comfortably wiped out the body’s operational deficit from the previous year, which stood at $20.2m, and represents a huge turnaround from the equivalent stage in the last Olympic cycle. In 2015 – the third year of the previous Olympiad – the IOC posted a deficit of $325.8m.

The body’s statement accompanying the results attributes the majority of the increase to “fair value increase” to its financial assets, which it says grew by $81.9m to reach $4.7bn as of December 31, 2019.

The body’s global commercial sponsorship platform, The Olympic Partner programme, also saw significant growth in 2019, adding a further contribution of $584.2m to the overall $1.65bn in revenue it has delivered so far in this cycle. That figure means it has already exceeded the $1bn reached in the previous four-year period. 

The IOC’s total assets at the end of 2019 were listed at $5.3bn, a 25-per-cent increase over the $4.1bn a year prior. 

While the IOC’s financial reports in a non-Games year alone are of limited significance, with the true state of its finances only measurable over the four-year Olympic cycle, the 2019 figures are more relevant than usual due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

The IOC has been struck by the pandemic on multiple fronts, most significantly in the forced postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which would have begun this coming Friday (July 24) before the outbreak caused it to be pushed back into 2021.  

Furthermore, the IOC has so far provided $63m in financial support to 20 international federations who were relying on the commercial income from the Games for their survival, while $37m has been provided in aid to various National Olympic Committees.

The body’s 2020 accounts, and those for future years, are likely to be significantly impacted by both the immediate and long-term affects of the pandemic.  

Speaking to journalists last week, IOC president Thomas Bach also revealed that the IOC would “continue supporting the NOCs with the TOP Programme [sponsorship] allocation, which will amount to another $150m which will be payable by the end of the year”.

He continued: “This represents a great effort for the IOC and in order to be able to deliver all this support in the $800m envelope, the IOC had to ask the Olympic Foundation for its assistance. We are happy that the Foundation board decided to allocate an amount of up to $300m to assist the IOC in our efforts to support the actions of the Olympic Movement.”

At last week’s IOC Session, Bach confirmed that he intends to seek re-election for a further four-year term, with his current eight-year incumbency coming to a close next year.