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‘A challenging year past and a challenging year ahead’: LTA publishes financial statements for 2020

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The LTA has today published its financial results for 2020, which demonstrate the financial impact of COVID on tennis in this country and the measures the LTA has taken to support the tennis community.

The financial outlook for 2021 remains challenging and the final position will to a large degree be determined by the number of spectators present at The Championships. Without the benefit of pandemic insurance this year there remains a great deal of uncertainty over the LTA’s income.

2020 results 

In 2020 the LTA recorded an operating loss of £5.2m, which once gains in investments was taken into account was reduced to an overall loss for the year of £1.8m

Compared to 2019 the LTA’s income fell by £30m due to the cancellation of events, including the cancellation of The Championships. Although the annual surplus was substantially covered by the AELTC's cancellation insurance policy, this resulted in a reduced figure from a normal year.

The LTA reduced its own costs by £19.3m, largely through the cancellation of its major events and reduction in costs in other areas of the business at the outset of the pandemic.

However there was additional money invested in participation in order to support coaches, venues, officials and tennis charities through the pandemic. This special investment totaled nearly £5m in grants and a further £2.4m in loans.

Beyond this, despite the challenging circumstances, the LTA continued to progress against its 5 year strategic plan with 2020 seeing a 8% growth in yearly participation, supported by new marketing campaigns, a major strategic drive to grow participation in parks, taking the total number of LTA registered venues to 4,095, the appointment of a new network of coach development centers, 2,400 coaches and teachers trained in the delivery of the new LTA Youth programme, and the full integration of padel into the LTA’s operations. For the professional game the LTA provided support packages to British players and hosted over 1,000 behind closed doors matches at the National Tennis Centre during the year.

Outlook for 2021 

The current year presents a number of challenges. Although the majority of the LTA’s grass court events are due to go ahead, albeit at reduced capacity, the net costs are approximately double what they would normally be, and it is expected that some aspects of the commercial & hospitality markets may take some time to recover.

Whilst it is encouraging that The Championships will also be taking place with spectators, the final number of attendees is yet to be determined, and this will be the biggest single factor that will contribute to the LTA’s financial performance in 2021.

Prudent approach 

However a prudent approach to planning has helped the LTA reduce the impact of the pandemic wherever possible. The organisation went into 2020 on the back of a strong financial performance in 2019, cut expenditure early in the pandemic, and minimised losses. Whilst the picture for 2021 remains uncertain, the LTA is managing its cashflow whilst doing all it can to minimse the long term impact of the pandemic on tennis in Great Britain.

Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive, said: “Last year was a challenging one for everyone, but throughout the year we remained focused on reducing costs whilst continuing to support the tennis community. We made progress against our strategy of opening up tennis. This year we have the uncertainty created by a reduced capacity at The Championships and our own events, as well as the extra costs that COVID is imposing on our events. However we will be continuing our efforts to make tennis a sport for everyone and transform the image of the sport in this country.”

Simon Steele, Financial Director, said: “Over the past few years, our responsible approach to managing our financial resources, supporting the game in both the short and long term, has meant that we’ve been better able to respond to the unique situation of the past 15 months. This, coupled with the pandemic insurance that covered The Championships, means that despite a significant fall in income, we’ve been able to protect our core activities. The picture is more complicated this year, but through careful financial management and a prudent approach, we will continue to direct all our efforts into supporting our sport and building on the growth we saw in 2020.

LTA FINance & Governance Report 2020

You can download the LTA Finance & Governance Report 2020 via the link below.

Download report