Formula One world champions
Mercedes-Benz reaping rewards on and off the race track
LONDON — Formula One world champions Mercedes are reaping the financial rewards of their dominance on the track, according to the team’s latest accounts.
Figures published by Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix on Tuesday showed a loss after tax of £22.3m from a previous £76.9m with the team remaining on course to break even.
Turnover increased £66.3m thanks to additional sponsorship revenues and more money from the sport’s commercial rights holder as a result of the team’s improved performance in 2014.
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 said.
Turnover, which does not include any contribution from majority shareholder and Mercedes’ parent Daimler, has grown 86% since 2011 — a current £213m compared to £115m. Operating costs rose £8.1m, or 3.5%, mainly due to inflationary increases in salary costs.
Mercedes said that as of December 31, the company had negative net liquid assets of £130.1m, compared with £90.1m in 2014, with net liabilities of £109.3m (versus £87m).
Last year was another record-breaking season on the track for drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who remain dominant in 2016 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 equalled the record for pole positions (18).
Mercedes put the team’s advertising value equivalent from broadcast alone at £2.35bn in 2015, which they said represented 10 times the team’s operating costs.
The net cost of the team to Daimler was about £23.5m, 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% 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," he said.