LTA publishes 2022 Finance and Governance report: a strong year of delivery despite challenging circumstances
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The LTA is today publishing its Finance and Governance Report for 2022.
The year saw very strong growth in participation at grass roots level - with a rise of 43% in the number of people playing tennis annually to a total of 4.7m. This figure has continued to rise since the end of 2022 and now stands at over 5.2m adults playing tennis annually – the highest figure we have recorded since our current survey began. Importantly during the year participation grew in all parts of Great Britain and amongst all demographics.
There were again impressive performances from British professional players, with the British team reaching the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time since 1981, the most British players to win a first round match at Wimbledon since 1984, with Cam Norrie reaching the semi-finals of that event and Grand Slam titles for Neal Skupski, Joe Salisbury, Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, and Andy Lapthorne. Salisbury, Skupski and Hewett all recorded world number 1 rankings during the year. There were also more British players in the top 200 of the singles world rankings than any time in the past 40 years.
However, there were a number of challenges the organisation has had to deal with.
Not least the difficult decision we took to ban Russian and Belarusian players following the illegal invasion of Ukraine. The LTA was subsequently subject to total fines of £1.4m from the WTA and ATP as well as the possibility that the professional events staged in this country could be at risk. An agreement has now been reached with the ATP, WTA, ITF, AELTC and UK Government for players to sign neutrality declarations and this process is ongoing.
Meanwhile the LTA has continued to invest in all aspects of British tennis including the staging of major events outside of the grass court season.
Bringing the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup to Britain for the first time since 1991, and the Davis Cup Finals Group stage meant that there was the opportunity for fans to attend top class tennis hosted in Great Britain outside of the grass court season - alongside the visibility these events give the sport in the media and online.
Hosting also provided home advantage to our British teams and demonstrated a commitment to these international team competitions after the pandemic by staging them when other countries were unable to.
The combination of this investment, inflationary pressures and the fines levied by the tours means the LTA recorded an operating loss of £9.5m this year.
Meanwhile there has been significant volatility in international markets meaning we have recorded a paper loss of £7.1m on investments this year. The strength of the LTA’s reserves means that these losses have not had to be realised and we would expect these investments to recover over the coming years.
Taken together, the investment into major events, the fines incurred from the tours and the unrealised investment losses means once other smaller movements have been taken into account the group recorded an overall loss of £16.4m.
During the first four years of the current five year strategy cycle, running from 2019-2023, taken as a whole the LTA has made a net loss of £6.4m at a time when there has been exceptional financial pressures on many businesses and sporting national governing bodies. During this time we have maintained investment in all areas of British tennis and continue to see the positive results of that investment.
Other activity in 2022
During 2022 the organisation undertook a wide range of activity, but other highlights not referenced above include:
- 3,630,000 children played tennis in 2022, an increase of 418,000 over 2021
- Annual participation amongst 16-34 year olds grew by 48%
- Women’s participation grew by 34%
- Five inclusion initiatives were launched (One year update to our Inclusion Strategy, She Rallies, Breaking Down Barriers, Open for All and launch of Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Group (IDAG))
- An average of 14,138 players played once a month with the LTA SERVES programme targeting disadvantaged communities
- Our Open Court disability tennis programme was delivered in 400 venues across Britain
- We doubled the number of ITF World Tennis Tour events in Great Britain and held twice the number of international events for juniors compared to 2019
- Over 5,000 school teachers were trained in delivering LTA Youth, our programme for young people - taking the total to over 10,000 since launch in 2021
- Grew the number of LTA Advantage members to 1.2m
- Launched the new LTA Tennis Foundation charity
- Invested £2.48m in grants and loans in facilities across Great Britain
- Began work on the parks tennis project – investing millions in renovating park tennis courts with the support of the LTA Tennis Foundation and UK Government
- Took over the long-term lease and management of Nottingham Tennis Centre
- Initiated a Padel Performance Programme with the British men’s team reaching the World Championships
- Won the Outstanding Contribution to Safeguarding at the SACPA awards
Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “2022 was a year of real achievement for British tennis at both the grass roots and top professional level. We made strong progress against our plans for delivering on our five-year strategy to open tennis up and achieved a number of our objectives a year early.
"There were challenges throughout the year, but we have tried to ensure the sport is thriving at all levels, continued to raise the visibility of the sport and have given our British players the best possible support.
"Although the financial picture was challenging this year, taken as a whole, the past four years have resulted in a loss of £6.4m despite the pandemic, volatility in world markets and unforeseen factors such as the fines from the ATP and WTA - whilst during this time we delivered significant growth for the sport.
"We are continuing to invest across the length and breadth of the sport this year and, as well as many other initiatives, will be renovating thousands of public park courts across the country in partnership with the LTA Tennis Foundation and UK Government.”