Silverstone in sound financial shape

Mon, 25 February 2008, 12:41

Although the running of the British grand prix beyond next year is in doubt, the operators of the Silverstone circuit appear to be in sound financial shape.

According to the latest accounts for Silverstone Circuits, owned by the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), the venue recently made an after-tax profit of $2.5 million, compared with a $5m loss in the previous accounting period.

The profits, revealed by the Independent newspaper to include the 18 month period of the 2005 and 2006 British grands prix, come amid F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone’s demands that Silverstone pay higher race promotion fees and drastically improve its ageing facilities.

The BRDC also reportedly has cash reserves of more than $23m, and the latest accounts do not take into consideration the boost in F1’s popularity in Britain since Lewis Hamilton broke onto the scene last year.

Silverstone’s current promotional contract with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management company expires after the 2009 race.

Meanwhile, the accounts of the McLaren Group show an operating loss of $4.5m in 2006. One year earlier, the Woking based company made a $28m profit.

A report in the Daily Mail blames the figures on the loss of F1 title sponsor West and flagging sales of the SLR supercar.

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