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Home » Sport » MotorSport

Williams remain upbeat despite loss of £42.5m for 2014

The Williams Formula One team has reported a loss of £42.5m for 2014 but they still paid their staff a £2m bonus for finishing third in the constructors’ championship.

That compares with a profit of £11.9m in 2013. The group as a whole made a loss of £34.3m last year, with a drop in revenue from £130.4m in 2013 to £90.2m last year.

The figures will be interpreted as more evidence of the hard times Formula One is going through. But the scale of the loss is misleading because it does not reflect the turnaround in the team’s recent fortunes, or the arrival of new sponsors such as Unilever and Avenade.

The contrast in the results for 2013 and 2014 must also be viewed in the context of the one-off payment of £20m from Pastor Maldonado’s sponsor PDVSA, which appeared in the 2013 accounts.

The team’s group chief executive officer, Mike O’Driscoll, remained upbeat on Monday when he said: “Although the figures are disappointing at first glance they are exactly what we expected. There was a hangover from the previous year. We are on track and we expect the results for 2015 to be significantly and materially better.”

The team languished in ninth in the constructors’ championship in 2013, when they won just five points; last year they paid each of their 660 staff a bonus of £3,000 for jumping six places.

O’Driscoll added: “Mid-way through 2013 we set out on an ambitious turnaround strategy to reinvigorate the Formula One team, create a strong and profitable advanced engineering business, and divest non-core activities.

“In 2014 we made very good progress against those objectives, investing significantly in people, facilities, and technology which we believe will provide a solid foundation for the future.”

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