Broncos expecting tough financial year - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos expecting tough financial year

By Jessica Marszalek 20/05/2008 03:06:10 PM Comments (0)

The injury cloud over Brisbane Broncos star Darren Lockyer and the loss of coach Wayne Bennett next year will not affect the continuing strong financial outlook for the club, shareholders of Brisbane Broncos Ltd have heard.

But the stock exchange listed company said 2008 may be tough, after the group in February reported a five per cent fall in calendar 2007 net profit to $1.46 million, from $1.54 million in 2006.

Managing director Bruno Cullen told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting that budgeting was substantially down this year due to increased costs associated with funding a side for the National Rugby League's (NRL) new youth competition.

But all other signs pointed to healthy revenue and the club was expected to post significant profits in 2009 and 2010, he said.

A successful start to the 2008 season, impressive average crowd figures of 34,800, and a record 10,292 season tickets sold were all good news, Mr Cullen said.

Corporate boxes and suites were also sold out for the season for the first time in the club's history and the Broncos were on track to be the only NRL club to post a profit this season, he said.

"We've had a very positive start on the field winning six from 10, and we probably could have done a bit better than that as well, but in saying that it's been a difficult start," he said.

The "injury curse" had already impacted upon the likes of Corey Parker, Joel Moon, PJ Marsh, Justin Hodges and Steven Michaels and a knee injury was now keeping captain Darren Lockyer off the field, he said.

But he was confident Lockyer would return to the field in the next month and crowds would continue to turn out.

Mr Cullen said the appointment of assistant coach Ivan Henjak as coach following the resignation of Wayne Bennett would not hurt the club's on or off-field position in coming years.

"We're very confident in Ivan and the support staff he's put around himself," he said.

Just as many were surprised at the strength of the Broncos this year following an exodus of key players last season, the team would continue to perform, Broncos chairman Darryl Somerville said.

"A lot of people were surprised," Mr Somerville said.

"We've recruited very well and they're playing well."

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