Williams to end ROKiT title sponsorship in the wake of bad results

"The financial results reflect the decline of the F1 operation"

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By Emmanuel Touzot

29 May 2020 - 09:22
Williams to end ROKiT title sponsorship

Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (WGPH, Ticker: WGF1) today announces the Group’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Group revenue declined to £160.2m in 2019, from £176.5m in 2018 and EBITDA deteriorated to a loss of £(13.0)m, compared to a profit of £12.9m in the previous year. The results were driven by the Formula 1 operation’s poor on-track performance, despite continued progress at Williams Advanced Engineering.

Formula 1 revenue declined to £95.4m in 2019, from £130.7m in 2018 and EBITDA was £(10.1)m last year, compared to £16.0m the previous year. Williams Advanced Engineering revenue increased to £63.7m in 2019, from £44.8m in 2018, with EBITDA up to £7.5m in 2019 from £5.1m in 2018.

"The financial results for 2019 reflect the recent decline in competitiveness of the F1 operation and the consequent reduction in commercial rights income" said Mike O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer. "After four years of very solid performance in the FIA F1 Constructors’ Championship during which we claimed two third and two fifth place finishes, we endured a couple of very difficult seasons. We have implemented a significant restructuring over the last nine months and have strengthened the technical leadership team."

"The 2020 Formula 1 season has, of course, been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will have an impact on our commercial rights income this year. The Team have also served notice to terminate its relationship with its title partner, ROKiT, and major sponsor, ROK Drinks. In common with many other businesses, we have taken extensive action to mitigate, including a prolonged furlough period for much of our staff. As this awful global crisis recedes, everyone at Williams Racing is looking forward to the start of the new season."

"There has been an enormous gap in earnings and expenditure between the three largest teams and the rest of the grid for a number of years, but we are confident that Liberty Media’s long-term vision and plans, including a first-ever cost-cap for the sport, will deliver a more level playing field for 2021 and beyond, on which all teams can compete more fairly."

"Williams Advanced Engineering growth continued in 2019, and we decided to bring external investment into the Group, through the sale of a majority stake, on 31 December 2019. This will enable WAE to continue to deliver the innovative solutions for which it is known and respected. Whilst we are no longer a majority shareholder in WAE we hold a significant minority stake in the business and remain a key partner for them through the provision of technical and support services."

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