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Formula One profits down $200 million

ESPNF1 Staff
December 21, 2009 « Ecclestone confirms Rome Grand Prix deal | »
Despite a decline in profits F1 is still a lucrative business © Sutton Images
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Formula One's profits dropped by US$200 million in 2009 after major manufacturers and sponsors withdrew from the sport.

This is the finding of a report on the sport's finances called Formula Money. It revealed F1 turned an overall profit of US$4.6 billion in 2009, down US$200 million on 2008.

The teams' spending dropped from US$1.6 billion to US$1.1 billion over the year, as the FIA's programme to reduce costs took hold. The report said Honda's withdrawal alone cost the sport US$350 million worth of investment. Overall, the teams' sponsorship revenues took an 8% hit, dropping from US$836.9 million to US$770.75 million over the course of a difficult year.

However, race hosting fees increased by 11% despite the calendar shrinking from 18 to 17 grand prix. Formula Money attributed this growth to the inclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The sport made a total of US$448 million from race fees alone in 2009, and Bernie Ecclestone has brokered a deal to hold a race in South Korea that should see that total rise even higher in 2010.

Sponsorship of F1 itself also boomed this year. New deals with LG Electronics and Universal Music helped to account for a 79% increase over 2008, to a total of US$102 million. TV rights was another area of growth for Formula One Management, as revenues increased by 18% to US$450 million mainly thanks to new deals in the UK and Spain.

Formula Money is the third annual report on the sport's finances by authors Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid.