Williams Formula One increase revenues and pay down debt
MONZA, Italy – The improved track performance of the Williams Formula One team was reflected in the interim results of the parent company on Friday with Williams Grand Prix Holdings reporting increased revenues and reduced debt.
“The improved performance of our Formula One team on the track is now reflected in both higher commercial rights income and increased sponsorship revenue, bolstering our financial results,” said chief executive Mike O’Driscoll.
The holding company reported overall revenues for the six months to June 30 of 63.2 million pounds ($96.39 million), up from 44.1 million last year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) showed a loss of 1.4 million compared to 19.6 million in 2014.
The Formula One division saw revenues increase to 51.8 million pounds from 34.6 million in the same period last year.
Net debt was reduced from 26 million pounds to 19 million.
Williams ended last season in third place after plunging to ninth in 2013, when they scored only five points. They are currently third in the constructors’ standings, behind champions Mercedes and Ferrari.
O’Driscoll told reporters the company was still working through a restructuring process that started in 2013 and faced a challenging second half of the year with continuing cash pressures.
Frankfurt-listed Williams, who have never paid a dividend and do not envisage one in the near future, are battling teams with far higher budgets.
O’Driscoll said they were “going to have to continue to over-perform’ to maintain their position.
“We don’t believe for a minute that spending by itself will get us there,” he added.
Williams Advanced Engineering, which commercialises Formula One derived technology, was profitable and showed a modest increase in revenues to 10.9 million from a previous 7.8.
O’Driscoll said Williams wanted to grow the non-automotive side and was looking to defence and aerospace. They recently agreed a multi-year contract with defence contractor General Dynamics for the electronics of a personnel carrier.
“The best calling card for advanced engineering is a successful Formula One team,” he added. “No-one wants to do business with losers.” –Reuters