The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has reported record turnover of £64.2m (€88m/$98.6m) for the last financial year after including the figures of its new subsidiary Millennium Stadium Experience Limited in its annual report for the first time.
This allowed the WRU to distribute £22.6m across domestic rugby, with £17.2m going into its four top-tier Welsh Regions, £1.4m to the Welsh Premiership and £4m to the community game.
These amounts are supported by spending on operating costs which stood at £4.3m for the elite game, £2.8m for community rugby and £5.4m for the Millennium Stadium. During the year, the WRU Group invested £3.2m on capital projects at the Millennium Stadium, including a Terraplas cover that ensures it can continue to host non-pitch events and remain as a multi-purpose venue.
The WRU’s loan facilities with Barclays Bank were refinanced during the year. As part of the deal the £10m Tranche C loan was released in exchange for one share in Millennium Stadium, resulting in a £10m gain. Following this refinance, the WRU's net bank debt at the end of the financial year reduced to £14.2m, including a new loan facility for the Regions of £1.3m.
During the year the WRU concluded a new six-year Rugby Services Agreement with the four Welsh Regions. The WRU has guaranteed more than £60m of direct funding to the four regions, in addition to them receiving all income related to competitions. This arrangement also covers the national dual contracts, stipulating when contracted Wales national team players can represent their region.
WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis said: "I am delighted to be able to announce such a strong financial position before I step aside from my role within the group. The past year has yet again proved that our success is based on detailed planning aligned to a clear strategy and a focus and commitment on achieving success.
“I am particularly delighted that the restructuring of our loan arrangements shows that Barclays Bank plc clearly trusts our ability to operate at a level of corporate integrity and professionalism which they can align to. The new relationship with the Regions and the introduction of National Dual Contracts for the first time in our history shows that Welsh rugby is focused on creating meaningful and long term success at all levels.”
Lewis will be succeeded as chief executive by Martyn Phillips in October, having held the post since 2006.
Earlier this week, the WRU announced a 10-year deal with financial services company and long-term partner Principality, which includes the naming rights to the Millennium Stadium.