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DJ Newbury Racecourse Plc AGM Statement

 
TIDMNYR 
 
6th June 2016 
 
                            NEWBURY RACECOURSE PLC 
 
                      ("the Racecourse" or "the Company") 
 
                                 AGM Statement 
 
At the Annual General Meeting to be held at Newbury Racecourse today, the 
Chairman, Dominic Burke, will make the following statement: 
 
As stated in the latest Annual Financial Statements, 2015 was a year of 
positive growth and improved financial performance for Newbury Racecourse. We 
were pleased to see significant improvements in the trading performance across 
a number of areas of the business, with revenues from our racing activities 
growing by fifteen per cent and our conference & events revenues growing by 
thirty one per cent. 
 
Overall raceday attendances increased by seven per cent year on year to 210,000 
and we played host to some top class racing during the year with horses 
including Coneygree, Muhaarar and Smad Place providing our racegoers with some 
outstanding performances on the track. 
 
The David Wilson Homes residential development continued to make very good 
progress, with the Western Area construction completed. The next phase of the 
residential development is now well underway in the Central Area. 
 
Current trading 
 
Trading in the first five months of 2016 has demonstrated the challenges of 
operating in the outdoor leisure market, with three meetings regretfully 
abandoned due to poor weather, including the two day Dubai Duty Free Spring 
Trials meeting in mid-April. Our policy of insuring our bigger race meetings 
has to some extent mitigated the financial impact of these abandonments. 
 Excluding these abandonments, raceday attendance is one per cent ahead of 
prior year. Most recently, we hosted the GBP750,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, the 
richest race meeting in our calendar, which was once again attended by over 
13,000 racegoers and financial returns from this event exceeded both prior year 
and our expectations. 
 
Following on from the success of our music events in 2015, we are delighted 
with the line-up for our summer 2016 Party in the Paddock music events. In July 
we will be hosting Simply Red, who return to Newbury following their last visit 
in 2010 We are pleased to be partnering once again with the charity Breast 
Cancer Care at one of the highlights of our summer racing calendar, Betfred 
Ladies Day in August, which features Will Young performing live after racing. 
 We expect to announce, in the next few days, our third and final Party in the 
Paddock act for 2016, to take place at the Dubai Duty Free International 
weekend in September. 
 
The conference and events business has seen like for like revenue growth of 
thirty per cent during the period to date and we continue to be the venue of 
choice for a number of high profile companies. Confirmed business for the 
second half of the year is also encouraging. 
 
The Rocking Horse Nursery has shown significant improvement in trading in the 
first few months of 2016, with like for like average occupancy having increased 
by 16 per cent, resulting in revenue growth of 34 per cent and a 63 per cent 
improvement in gross operating profit year to date. We were pleased with the 
outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection, having been awarded "Good" status and 
we continue to experience a very encouraging level of interest and enquiries 
from new parents. 
 
Our new thirty six bedroom hotel, The Lodge, which provides first class 
accommodation to travelling stable staff at race meetings, opened to the 
general public at the beginning of this month, allowing us to make the best use 
of this valuable asset, with a sensible cost base. We expect high demand, from 
both our own conference guests and business travellers, for this superb 
facility outside of its raceday use. 
 
Development 
 
The residential development continues to make very good progress, with 
virtually all homes now sold in the Western Area. The next phase of residential 
development, the Central Area, which will see the construction of three hundred 
and sixty apartments, is now well underway and early interest has been 
encouraging. 
 
The new access bridge from the north of the site is also now fully open 
providing a much improved arrival and departure experience for our customers. 
 
In July 2015, the Board announced that it had submitted detailed planning 
proposals for the racecourse's own redevelopment. These plans, which were 
approved in October, include new entrances, remodelling of the parade ring area 
and a new owners and trainers facility. These improvements are focused on 
enhancing the experience for all of our racegoers, whilst generating improved 
financial returns for the wider business in the longer term. The tender process 
is now in its final stages and we expect these works to commence within the 
next few weeks. 
 
We made significant strides towards our long term plans for Newbury Racecourse 
during 2015 and the Board is confident that this progress will continue during 
2016. We remain wholly focused on driving forward our strategy to ensure that 
the racecourse continues to offer both world class racing and facilities to 
support the long term growth of the business. 
 
For further information please contact: 
 
Newbury Racecourse plc                 Tel: 01635 40015 
 
Julian Thick, Chief Executive 
 
Andy Clifton, Head of Communications 
 
 
 
Hudson Sandler                         Tel: 020 7796 4133 
 
Charlie Jack / Katie Matthews 
 
 
 
END 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2016 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)