Williams still suffering hangover from 2013

Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:37am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The Williams Formula One team made a loss of 42.5 million pounds ($64.34 million) in 2014 but said on Monday they expected a significant improvement next year once they are over the lingering 'hangover' of past failure.

"What we are reporting today is essentially a hangover," Chief Executive Mike O'Driscoll told reporters.

The team loss, with turnover of 71.2 million, compared to a profit of 11.9 million and turnover of 106.0 million in 2013.

Frankfurt-listed Williams Grand Prix Holdings said the group as a whole reported turnover of 90.2 million in 2014 with a loss of 34.3 million, compared to 130.4 million and profit of 11.9 million in 2013.

However, O'Driscoll said the 2013 figures had been inflated by a 20 million pound settlement from departing Venezuelan sponsor PDVSA that covered 2014 but had to be recognized in the previous year's accounts.

The 2014 figures also included bonus payments of 3,000 pounds for each of the group's 660 employees as a result of the team finishing third overall last season, while engine costs doubled with the debut of a new hybrid power unit.

Former champions Williams, currently third after four races this year, reversed a "decade of decline" in 2014 after the nadir of ninth overall in 2013.

Revenues from the commercial rights holder are paid a year in arrears, however, meaning that the 2014 figures reflect the previous year's dismal showing and reduced sponsorship income.   Continued...

Williams Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland drives during Bahrain's F1 Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit, south of Manama April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah