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Williams group posts £5m loss for 2012

ESPN Staff
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Williams posted a loss despite an improved on-track performance © Sutton Images
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Williams Grand Prix Holdings - the group of companies which includes Williams Grand Prix Engineering - has posted a £5million loss for 2012.

The group made a profit of £7.4m in 2011 but puts the latest results down to 'the impact of a technical accounting treatment of one of the Group's key receipts during the year'. Despite an improved performance on track last year - which included winning the Spanish Grand Prix - Williams Grand Prix Engineering itself posted a loss of £0.6m, but turnover increased by 21.5% to £124.3m. Williams founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams said the on-track progress was encouraging for the core business.

"2012 saw Williams make encouraging progress on and off the track and we are determined to continue that upward trend in 2013," Williams said. "The win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix was a particular highlight and we continue to develop strong sponsorship partnerships and engineering relationships. At the end of the year the Williams F1 Team finished 8th in the FIA Formula One World Constructors' Championship. There is still a way to go for the team to get to where we should be, but improvements on previous seasons are evident."

Chief executive officer Alex Burns said a large chunk of revenue - which would have resulted in the group posting a profit - had not been included in the accounts.

"Williams has embarked on a long term strategy that combines visible success on the track with an ambitious diversification programme," Burns said. "The Williams brand and the intellectual property built up over many years of performing at the cutting edge of technological developments gives the Group a unique position in the global marketplace. Strong turnover in the year of £127.0 million reflects our revenue from Formula One and our ability to earn commercial returns from diversification. During the year the Group made an overall loss before taxation of £5.0 million. Revenue of £9.4 million, received under the Bilateral Agreement with Formula One World Championship Limited, the sport's commercial rights holder, has not been included in these results because of the technical interpretation of today's accounting standards.

"Highlights for Williams Hybrid Power included its flywheel technology being used in the winning Audi Le Mans entry, an agreement with Go-Ahead Group to develop flywheel technology for buses and a similar agreement with Alstom to develop a system for trams. Another milestone was the Group's fulfilment of its agreement with Jaguar Cars Limited to provide the motorsport expertise behind the development of the C-X75 hybrid supercar prototype. To accommodate the Group's plans to exploit the commercial applications of its technologies, 2012 also saw the start of construction of a new Williams Advanced Engineering facility at the Oxfordshire site. The growth of these new investment businesses at a time of global financial instability, evidenced by a rapid increase in revenue under the Williams Advanced Engineering brand from £16m (2011) to £38m (2012), puts us on a sound footing to deliver to our long term strategy."