Rugby Union stages financial turnaround

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2013
Steve Tew
Getty Images
NEW MONEY: NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said sponsorship from AIG helped with the financial turnaround.

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The New Zealand Rugby Union has announced a $3.2 million operating profit for 2012 - its first since 2008 - and is already planning for another Rugby World Cup win in 2015.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said rugby's governing organisation had budgeted to break even after posting an operating loss of $3.1m last year, but last month he signalled there would be a surplus.

Tew put the turnaround down to new sponsorship from insurance group AIG as well as existing partnerships with adidas and broadcast partner Sky Television.

He said full detail on the accounts would be revealed at the NZRU's annual general meeting next month.

Chief financial officer Jannine Mountford said the NZRU's income rose to $106m while expenses fell to $103m and the organisation's cash reserves position had been restored.

The NZRU's reserves had previously benefited from a positive foreign exchange movement which kept the union afloat throughout the global financial crisis.

Tew said NZRU would do further work this year to devise a policy on the level of cash reserves to retain in the future.

"If we're a $110m-a-year business, what should you have in the bank in case everything shuts down for six months?" he said.

"We're incredibly grateful that we had $60m in the bank when the [global financial crisis] hit because we knew we could use it wisely."

The NZRU had been pleased by the progress of the Otago Rugby Union after a bailout last year and said nine of 14 provinces had produced a positive financial result.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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