Queensland Rugby Union announce $1.48 million loss in 2015


Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has announced a loss of $1,483,696 before depreciation for the 2015 financial year at the Annual General Meeting at Ballymore today.

While QRU has continued to build scale and volume over the last seven years, the performance of the St.George Queensland Reds had a material effect on many of its revenues.

QRU CEO Jim Carmichael said: “Despite major challenges in 2015, we were able to put in place mitigation plans through the year whilst delivering all of our community related programs to all levels of our game as planned. This culminated in $8 million worth of Queensland Rugby direct and indirect investment into the grass roots of our code across the state.”

QRU Commitments post Budget 
• The introduction of the National and State Participant contributions was a significant reform for the game. However, in consultation with QRU stakeholders, a reduction of $200,000 was agreed post budget through a reduced state contribution. Furthermore, the introduction of a casual player levy for both city and country clubs, combined with the first year of this new system, resulted in a reduction of $360,000 of revenue against forecast, once player data was accurately entered into the national registration system – Rugbylink.

• In 2015, a number of our important sub-unions experienced acute financial difficulty and it was necessary for us to protect the efforts of the Rugby community in those regions and to ensure Rugby competitions proceeded as planned. QRU committed significant human resources and $125,000 financial and legal support to provide the necessary assistance so that the code was able to deliver against its obligations.

• Additionally, QRU assumed the delivery of Junior Gold competitions in the state, the Junior State Championships and the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union competitions along with the associated costs of circa $317,000.

• Finally, midway through 2015, there were $500,000 of reductions in government grants awarded to QRU, as a result of the Federal Government’s national review of funding Indigenous programs. However, QRU felt it important to maintain its commitment to Indigenous communities in Queensland through the ongoing delivery of Indigenous programming.

Notwithstanding the above challenges, 2015 marked the final year in QRU’s ‘Future Generation Strategy’ which yielded growth in participation from 90,000 to nearly 300,000 to become the largest Rugby base in Australia. In that period, the fan base expanded from 4,500 Reds members to 50,000 members, the largest in Australian Rugby and in Queensland sport. There was also significant growth in annual turnover with QRU achieving an annual operating profit in five out of the previous six years.

Importantly, in 2015 a total of 294,987 Queenslanders participated in Rugby throughout 2015 with QRU successfully delivering growth in key programs including St.George Rookies2Reds, Game On, VIVA 7s and School Competitions.

2015’s significant achievements were announced to members and stakeholders at QRU’s Annual General Meeting today.

Carmichael said: “Nationally, the industry has ratified and adopted the Australian Rugby Strategic Plan, which the QRU has been closely involved in with the ARU for a number of years. The QRU has also now adopted our next five-year strategic plan, to run in parallel with our national body, which will take the organisation through to 2020. It is an important time to take stock and reflect that after these years of reform and significant financial investment into our industry, we now turn our focus to consolidation and to building a strong financial platform.”