NZRU announces $A1.44m loss for 2007 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZRU announces $A1.44m loss for 2007

By Nick Wilson 23/04/2008 02:17:46 PM Comments (0)

The big financial losses forecast to add to the New Zealand Rugby Union's woes were avoided when it announced a loss of 'just' $NZ1.7 million ($A1.44 million).

It represented an improvement on 2006's $NZ4.8 million ($A4.06 million) loss and was much better than the $NZ4.4 million ($A3.72 million) loss which had been budgeted for in 2007.

With much of the NZRU's business done in foreign currencies, the high flying Kiwi dollar had led to early estimates of as much as $NZ10 million disappearing from the organisation's reserves of almost $NZ80 million ($A68 million).

When the dollar dropped to 68US cents in August 2007, the NZRU hedged more than $US23 million, ultimately saving the organisation $NZ6 million ($A5 million) after the dollar shot up to about 77 US cents by the end of the year.

"It made a significant difference to the end result," NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs said after the organisation's annual meeting in Wellington.

Hobbs said credit was also due to the NZRU's campaign to reduce operational costs, with cutbacks saving $NZ2.5 million for the year.

Chief executive Steve Tew said staff redundancies were avoided and no activities were cut.

"We just made sure that every dollar we spent, we needed to spend. I mean, if you talk to the team here, the fruit bowl went."

On its performance scoreboard the NZRU marked itself a lowly 52 per cent, a big drop from 2006's 84 per cent.

Tew said the All Blacks' quarter-final exit in last year's World Cup did not have a "significant" bearing on the 2007 financial result.

For 2008 the NZRU wants to revive flagging viewer numbers, reflected in both gate sales and television viewing numbers.

Tew said the Super 14 needed to be "freshened up" and that process was already underway.

Hobbs acknowledged the absence of the All Blacks for much of the Super 14 had hurt the competition last year.

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