OL posts €45.9m profit but puts the cost of covid at €100m

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By Paul Nicholson

October 7 – OL Groupe, owner of French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais, has announced 2019/20 year end revenue of €271.6 million and an impressive pre-tax profit of €45.9 million considering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

That revenue figure is below the €309 million achieved in 2018/19 and the EBITDA profit of €76.9 million.

OL’s business ground to a halt in mid-March when the covid-crisis hit, but that was after a revenue increase of €41.9 million on the previous year in the quarter to the end of March that followed a first half record rise of €61.8 million in the six months to end December 2019.

That insulated what the club reckons will be a €100 million impact on revenue as a result of Covid. As did the thumping €90.9 million profit on player sales, a core part of the business plan going forward.

With all the revenue lines of match days, media rights and sponsorship/advertising down, OL is nevertheless reasonably upbeat at managing its way through the crisis and the next financial year.

The club expects an increase of about €18 million in Ligue 1 media rights and will be taking the €25 million windfall of the club’s progression to the semi-final of the 2019/20 Champions League in the current year.

It is also predicting a “significant increase in sponsorship revenue” that it is forecasting at €36 million. And right on cue it announced a two-year extension of the naming rights to its stadium with mutual insurance giant Groupama. That deal, initiated in 2017, is reckoned to be worth €5.5 million per season.

Other new sponsorships include a five-year deal with Emirates starting this season, a new adidas contract and a hook-up with MasterCard.

Even so, the group pointed to further fan attendance restrictions, and lack of European competition for its men’s team as financially challenging, saying the “OL Groupe expects to post a net loss for the 2020/21 financial year.”

Confidence in the future is strong. Built around what it calls a ‘full entertainment’ concept that includes other sports teams and the growth of its Europe dominating women’s team, as well as the use of its stadium for concerts and other events, OL said that it will be on course to reach its 2024 revenue target of €420-440 million.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1603227062labto1603227062ofdlr1603227062owedi1603227062sni@n1603227062osloh1603227062cin.l1603227062uap1603227062