Hibs financial results: Insurance payout helps club record near £1m profit despite Covid-19 pandemic
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They managed such a positive year of trading despite playing every single competitive game in front of empty stadiums as government restrictions brought on by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic saw fans locked out of grounds.
It was over a £2m swing in the bottom line as Hibs made a profit of £919k compared to a net loss of £1.23m the year prior. They managed this while fighting off interest and even cash bids for some of their key players, most notably Kevin Nisbet, Josh Doig and Ryan Porteous.
The Easter Road club can particularly pat itself on the back for the £2.5m made in other income, as stated in an email to shareholders. This came via a £2.15m payout from having “business interruption insurance”, while the remainder came from the government furlough scheme. The majority of the insurance claim, £1.5m, wasn’t received by the club until September though it is accounted for in these accounts.
Turnover fell around 4% to £8.55m from £8.93m, attributable mainly to reduced gate receipts from home matches as well as cup matches.
Operating expenses decreased 3% to £10.5m from £10.87m due to the lower operating costs for hosting matches behind closed doors.
Staffing fell by 20 per cent in terms of numbers, though the club only made a saving of £20,000 on the previous year’s total of £6.66m due to bonuses paid out on performance-based incentives including the team finishing third in the Scottish Premiership and reaching both the semi-final of the League Cup and final of the Scottish Cup.
The company’s cash reserves also increased from £5.36m to £6.95m, helped by a £2.88m Scottish Government loan which the club described as having ”favourable terms of no interest and is due to be paid over twenty years starting in September 2022”.
Chairman Ron Gordon concluded the letter by saying: "Most of all, the Club would again like to thank supporters for their continued support through season ticket purchases during this challenging time. The Club received over £600k in donations during the year, with contributions from the board of directors as well as the Hibernian Supporters Limited, which contributed donations exceeding £300k during the year. These donations helped support the Thank You NHS initiative, ongoing operations, and player trading.
“Finally, it does – at last – appear that we are seeing increased normality return on a more sustainable basis, and that is very welcome. While having supporters inside our stadium is essential to Hibernian in a financial sense, it is just as important to remember that football is sadly depleted without supporters generating colour, noise, excitement, energy and passion.
The AGM will be held in the West Stand at Easter Road on Thursday, March 3 at 6pm.
The board intends to provide shareholders with an update on the long-term strategy set out during the 2020 AGM and plans across the 2022/23 season. Fans are asked to submit questions in advance of February 28 through an email to [email protected]. Though questions can also be asked on the night.