Williams’ poor form begins to impact finances

Mark Scott
Williams will not become "complacent" despite their gains on and off the track.

Williams will not become "complacent" despite their gains on and off the track.

Williams have posted a loss in the first half of 2019 as their continued poor form begins to be reflected in their financial records.

The Grove-based team hit rock bottom of the Constructor Standings in 2018 after finishing in the lofty heights of P5 in the previous year.

Williams also lost significant sources of income with the respective departures of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin and the loss of their long-running title sponsor Martini.

They did manage to secure a new title sponsor called ROKiT and current driver Robert Kubica is backed by Orlen, but still a substantial drop in revenue has been recorded.

Williams generated a revenue of £46.3m in the period of January to June in 2018. That is compared to £60.7m for the same period in the previous year.

However, providing a glimmer of hope was the Williams Advanced Engineering arm of the company, which saw revenues rise from £21.5m to £30.9m.

But, total combined revenue for parent company Williams Grand Prix Holdings dropped from £82.6m to £77.8m, with the overall EBITDA loss increasing from £2.7m to £18.8m.

“Our financial results reflect a challenging half year for our F1 operations, yet also demonstrated continued growth in the Williams Advanced Engineering business,” said group CEO Mike O’Driscoll.

“The F1 financial results primarily reflect our finishing position in last year’s Constructors’ Championship and the consequent reduction in prize money [which is paid a year in arrears].

“There was also an overall reduction in partnership income compared to the first half of 2018, although we secured major new partnerships with ROKiT and Orlen.

“Although we are enduring another tough season on track, we have seen some recent signs of improvement, and we continue to attract interest from potential partners as one of the longest standing Formula 1 teams.

“This is best demonstrated by the recent two-year extension to our title partnership deal with ROKiT who will now continue with us until at least 2023.”

O’Driscoll also expressed the encouragement the team have in the new 2021 regulations allowing them to compete on a “more level playing field”.

“Negotiations with Formula One management and Liberty Media regarding the future of the sport from 2021 have been productive and we believe, when finalised, will represent a much-needed opportunity for Williams to benefit from a more level financial playing field, as well as new technical regulations.”

“Although we continue to face challenges in a very dynamic environment, we currently believe the majority of the impact on EBITDA for the full year has already been captured in these interim results.

“We continue to believe we are well placed to respond to the challenges ahead, with world class facilities and a strong and talented organisation.”

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