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SBD Global/April 30, 2013/Finance

F1 Team Williams Releases 2012 Annual Results Showing Sales Up, But Profits Down

Williams driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela celebrates after winning the Spanish F1 Grand Prix on May 13, 2012.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC, which includes Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd. and Williams Hybrid Power Ltd., which combines the traditional F1 business and activity that commercializes F1 derived intellectual property, reported a loss before taxation of £5M ($7.7M), according to the Group’s financial results for the year ended Dec. 31. The loss  came as a result of the ipact of a technical accounting treatment of one of the Group's key receipts during the year. The F1 team saw its turnover increase from £102.3M to £124.3M ($192.2M). This has led to an increase in overall Group turnover of 22% to £127M ($196.4M) (2011: £104.5M) (Williams F1).

NEW INVESTMENT: BLOOMBERG's Alex Duff reported the F1 team’s sponsorships did not "offset costs and investment on hybrid technology." Williams "relies on sponsorship and prize money for most of its revenue." In '08, the team "began developing energy-saving flywheels for cars and public transport." The shares have lost 12% of their value this year. CEO Alex Burns said that non-F1 revenue from the Williams Advanced Engineering brand rose to £38M ($58.8M) in '12 from £16M a year earlier. Burns said, "The growth of these new investment businesses at a time of global financial instability" puts the company on a sound footing to deliver its long-term strategy (BLOOMBERG, 4/29).

MOVING FORWARD: In London, Kevin Eason wrote Williams Grand Prix Holdings revealed its annual accounts "showing sales up but profits down." However, the company "is pushing ahead with an ambitious growth strategy away from the Formula One team" founded by Frank Williams more than 30 years ago. Williams "has been flourishing away from the track." Turnover increased 22% to £127M but "resulted in the deficit because of accounting technicalities." Williams has "made steady progress" across its range of activities, including development of high-technology. Audi’s Le Mans-winning car "used Williams hybrid technology and the business is now developing systems for buses and trams." Williams is "building a new technology centre at their headquarters in Oxfordshire" (LONDON TIMES, 4/29). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported "the highlight on the track for Williams last season was a victory in the Spanish Grand Prix for Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado." The team finished eighth out of 12 in the constructors' championship. Founder & Team Principal Frank Williams said, "There is still a way to go for the team to get to where we should be, but improvements on previous seasons are evident" (REUTERS, 4/29).
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