French football club, Olympique Lyonnais, said its finances have been ‘hard hit’ by the COVID-19 public health crisis, as it announced a loss of €36.5 million (US$42.6 million) for the 2019/20 financial year, compared to a profit of €6.2 million (US$7.2 million) the previous season.
The revenue of the French club in the 2018/19 season was up 19% at the end of March 2019, rising 15% to a first-half record of €61.8 million in the six months to 31 December 2019. This year, there was a setback in their revenue due to the pandemic, which saw their accounts stand at €271.6 million (US$317 million) as of 30th June 2020.
Ticketing revenue fell from €41.8 million (US$48.7 million) to €35.5 million (US$41.4 million) – a 15.1% decline, as Lyon was unable to play six home games following the premature end of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season on 13 March. This meant the team finished in seventh place, outside of the qualification places for Uefa’s European club competitions.
Media rights totaled €97.6 million in the 2019/20 (compared to €122.0 million in 2018/19); a result of the premature end to the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season, after the 28th matchdays impacted domestic media rights in two ways
- Canal+ and BeIN paid only part of their broadcasting rights for the season to the LFP
- OL’s 7th place position in Ligue 1 became its final standing (vs 3rd place at the end of the previous season)
- Lyon’s main revenue stream for the 2019/20 campaign was media rights.
Sponsoring/advertising revenue suffered from the mid-March business shutdown and totaled €27.2 million with a decline of €4.2million and a fall of -13% when compared to €31.3 million in the 2018/19 season. Brand-related revenue was down with a decline of €2.4million, to €13.6 million (US$15.8 million).
Revenue from the Events business totaled €6.7 million over the full year, down 30% from €9.7 million in 2018/19. In accordance with the government’s measures prohibiting large gatherings, the Group was forced to cancel all of the summer events scheduled for Groupama Stadium, in particular, the first “Felyn” music festival, now postponed to 18 & 19 June 2021.
OL Groupe incurred an operating loss of €18.4 million in 2019/20 (vs a profit of €22.2 million in 2018/19). The change reflected an increase in Net depreciation, amortization, and provisions (€76.2 million in 2019/20 vs €52.3 million in 2018/19), as a result of trading at the start and in the middle of the season (amortization of player registrations).
Operating profit/loss in 2019/20 included exceptional assistance of €12.9 million, recognized as “Other ordinary income and expenses” and deriving from the government-guaranteed loan received by the LFP. This is equivalent to the balance of LFP media rights the Club did not receive.
Net financial expense totaled €17.9 million (vs €14.0 million in 2018/19), tied principally to the non-recourse financing of player registration receivables implemented during the financial year. The pre-tax loss is €36.3 million in 2019/20. The net loss (Group share) was €36.5 million, against a net profit (Group share) of €6.2 million in 2018/19.
However, despite the ongoing financial impact of COVID 19, Lyon said,
“OL remains confident in its ability to achieve the objectives set for the period from now until 2023/24, as presented last February; i.e. total revenue of €420-440 million (including player trading, according to the API as indicated above), and EBITDA in excess of €100 million, assuming the current public health crisis is resolved in the short term. This is based on our “full entertainment” growth strategy oriented around our core business – football – and also on the development, diversification, and recurrent nature of our “Events” programming, related in particular to the new arena project.”