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Arc profits fall by 16 per cent but turnover is up

Newcastle's all-weather track had an effect on Arc's financial figures
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Turnover increased but earnings fell across Arena Racing Company's (Arc) courses in 2016 according to results lodged with Companies House.

Arc, which was formed by the merger of Arena Leisure and Northern Racing in 2012, does not file its results as a single entity. However, companies representing the Arena and Northern sides of the business do.

Adding those together, results in turnover for 2016 reached £139.5 million, an increase of four per cent, while Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) of £23.6m was down 16 per cent.

Arena's turnover fell to £90.1m from £93.2m, "largely as a result of a reduction in the fixture list" with meetings being moved to Northern's Newcastle.

Ebitda fell to £18m from £24.3m due to those fewer fixtures, increased costs, including those caused by the national minimum wage and extra contributions to prize-money.

Further detail could be gleaned from the accounts of individual tracks within the groups, with the Doncaster Racecourse Management Company describing 2016 as "a challenging year".

Turnover at Doncaster of £20.19m was down from £20.36m in 2015, with the decrease "largely a result of a drop in attendance of 14 per cent on the prior year leading to a decline in admissions income of eight per cent, which was driven by a change in attendances from successful music nights". Ebitda fell to £3.57m from £4.43m.

Among the former Northern tracks, turnover increased by nearly 21 per cent to £49.4m, due to 20 extra fixtures at Newcastle and "Great Yarmouth racecourse returning to a full fixture list following the redevelopment of the track in 2015".

The return of racing at Hereford and the opening of the grandstand at Bath were also cited as factors.

Ebitda at Northern tracks increased to £5.6m from £3.7m.

The influence of Newcastle on those figures was illustrated by the accounts for High Gosforth Park Limited, which showed turnover of £12.43m, up from £9.96m, and ebitda rising to £3.29m from £1.34m.

Although Arc set up new betting shop channel The Racing Partnership in 2016, details of the effects of its commercial stand-off with Ladbrokes Coral and Betfred may not appear until the 2017 accounts are submitted next year.  

Arc did not wish to comment on the figures.

Doncaster Racecourse Management Company described 2016 as 'a challenging year'
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