By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) – Formula One world champions Mercedes are reaping the financial rewards of their track dominance, according to the team’s latest accounts.
Figures published by Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd on Tuesday showed a loss after tax of 22.3 million pounds ($28.50 million) in 2015 from a previous 76.9 million with the team remaining on course to break even.
Turnover grew by 66.3 million pounds thanks to additional sponsorship revenues and more money from the sport’s commercial rights holder as a result of the team’s improved 2014 performance.
Mercedes said their agreement with the commercial rights holder meant revenue flows based on sporting performance would be “significantly increased” from 2016 onwards as a result of their track dominance.
“The future outlook for sponsorship revenues is also very promising,” the team added.
Turnover, which does not include any contribution from majority shareholder and Mercedes’ parent Daimler, has grown 86 percent since 2011 – a current 213 million pounds compared to 115 million.
Operating costs rose by 8.1 million pounds, or 3.5 percent, mainly due to inflationary increases in salary costs.
Mercedes said that as of Dec. 31, the company had negative net liquid assets of 130.1 million pounds, compared to 90.1 million in 2014, with net liabilities of 109.3 million (vs 87 million).
Last year was another record-breaking season on the track for drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who remain dominant this year as well.
Hamilton won his third world championship, and the Briton’s second in a row with Mercedes, in 2015 while Germany’s Rosberg again finished runner-up.
Between them they won 16 of the 19 races, with a record 12 one-two finishes. The team also set records for most points in a season (703), most one-twos in qualifying (15), podium finishes (32) and equaled the record for pole positions (18).
Mercedes put the team’s advertising value equivalent (AVE) from broadcast alone at $3 billion in 2015, which they said represented 10 times the team’s operating costs.
The net cost of the team to Daimler was around $30 million, effectively the net loss.
“Success is never down to one individual — it’s the product of an incredible collective effort,” said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff, who has a 30 percent stake in the team.
“Now we can see that the company is reaping the rewards on the business side, like we have done on the track for the past seasons.”
($1 = 0.7824 pounds)
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)