The ACC Liverpool Group has released its latest financial results which show a strong recovery to above pre-pandemic levels.
The group which operates the M&S Bank Arena, ACC Liverpool, Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool, delivered turnover of £30.0m for the year ended 31 March 2023 compared to £24.5m for the year ended 31 March 2020 – its last year of trading before the pandemic.
Audited group accounts show net profit before exceptional items and pension accounting of £1.3m, a £2.5m improvement on the result achieved for the year ended 31 March 2020, and a net loss before tax of £1.76m – stated after adjustment for excess energy costs and the non-cash impact of the latest accounting valuation of the company’s pension scheme. The group’s net loss before tax represents a £4.3m improvement on the year ended 31 March 2020 and a £2.4m improvement on the prior year.
The ACC Liverpool Group has reduced monies owed to owners Liverpool City Council with the amount already decreased from £7.1m to £3.46m, with a further £1.1m to be paid shortly. Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet recently agreed new long-term governance and lease arrangements for The ACC Liverpool Group which will reduce the financial burden on Council Tax payers and ensure the complex continues to drive the city’s visitor economy. A repayment plan for outstanding sums, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, forms part of the agreement.
Faye Dyer, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “This is a really encouraging set of trading results which reflect both our strong recovery, after a successful return to full capacity live events and the impact of targeted business improvement initiatives.
“We are pleased to continue our close working relationship with Liverpool City Council which has been hugely successful since our campus opened in 2008 and remain focused on fulfilling our agreed repayment plan with our landlord, while continuing to invest in our facilities, services and people.
“Events such as Eurovision, World Gymnastics Championships and the Labour Party Conference have supported our return to large scale events but trading conditions remain challenging with ongoing intense economic pressure on energy costs and labour rates. We have reduced our operating losses by more than £2.4m in the last year and we are confident that we will continue on this positive trajectory thanks to the hard work of our talented team.”
The ACC Liverpool Group is this year celebrating 15 years of live events, welcoming more than 8.3 million visitors and generating £2.1bn in economic impact for the city region since it opened its doors.
It recently welcomed the Labour Party Conference for the fifth time and hosted the Eurovision song Contest on behalf of Ukraine in May. Highlights for 2024 include Girls Aloud & Eric Clapton in sport & entertainment, and business events such as The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and the RCGP Annual Conference and Exhibition.
Cllr Liam Robinson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: “Live events are crucial to the region, giving visitors the opportunity to gather and enjoy their favourite artists or to share knowledge at conferences, not to mention their impact on the visitor economy.
“The importance of events was hugely apparent during the pandemic reflected in the high numbers of people returning to live events when they were able to. The industry suffered significantly, and it is therefore extremely encouraging to see The ACC Liverpool Group reporting a strong set of trading results which continue to look positive for the future.
“The organisation is making huge strides not only in the events it delivers but across all areas of the organisation putting social value plans at the heart of what they do.”
The organisation achieved carbon neutral status after working with leading sustainability organisation Carbon Neutral Britain to measure its total organisational emissions and put a carbon reduction plan in place, offsetting its carbon footprint with credible, high-quality projects. Environment, sustainability and climate action are key focuses for its Social Value Impact Plan, which is about to enter its third year, with the company focused on achieving carbon net-zero by 2030.
The ACC Liverpool Group also welcomed two additional board members this month. Nuala Gallagher, Corporate Director of City Development and Kate Bull, Director of Economic Strategy Skills and Sustainability have joined the board from Liverpool City Council.
Dyer added: “The additional knowledge and experience that the new members will bring to the Board will help us to deliver our ambitious strategic plans; alongside the opportunity it provides to further strengthen partnership working between our two organisations.
We look forward to continuing to deliver a wide variety of cultural events for the local and wider community to enjoy and feel part of. We are proud to contribute to the city region’s image as an attractive and inclusive place in which to live, work and invest.”