MEMBERS FINANCIAL UPDATE
Further to my financial update in March, I thought it was appropriate to give a further update as we approach the end of current financial year.
The society has performed very well this year as we recover from the pandemic, much better than even I anticipated. The current level of surplus is well above budgeted numbers but it has to be noted that we have received substantial assistance over the year from various sources, Business Hardship Scheme, Furlough assistance and full rates relief totalling just over £125,000. The performance has been further assisted by sizeable savings in expenditure and higher than anticipated income figures. As a result of this strong performance it is intended to transfer money into a “Resilience Fund” that will be set aside as a provision against any future global catastrophes that may occur.
The bank balance has held up very well this year, the only negative cashflow month was March and will be this month as well. On the basis of our better performance and high bank balance, we have taken the decision to repay £100,000 of the term loan on the clubhouse and have also locked into a fixed interest rate for the remaining duration of the loan period. We have also repaid in full the Bounce Back Loan of £50,000 that we took out last September.
A draft budget for next year has been prepared on the assumption that there will be a near full return to normality and the return of American and other visitors to the course. It has also been prepared on the basis of no overall subscription increase next year to offset the large increase we imposed last year. This was reviewed last month by the management committee and is being further updated to reflect adjustments discussed and recent changes such as additional NI costs recently announced by the government which will increase wages costs. It has also been prepared on a basis that should the recovery not be as good as anticipated, we can review certain levels of expenditure in line with any shortfalls in income. We have also approved machine equipment replacement for next year restoring our regular upgrading programme to help enhance our greenkeepers high standards of course maintenance.
The new in house operations are performing well and returning good margins. Catering Sales to end of August were £88,423 and Pro shop sales were £137,858. More importantly after wages costs both operations were both making a contribution to the club’s finances. This is very encouraging, given the stop /start periods we have experienced and the lack of visitors to the courses.
One area of concern is the bar performance which is not just reliant on visitors, but also reliant on members support as well. With the “automation” of the submission of competition scores, there is a tendency of members just jumping in their cars and going home rather than coming into the clubhouse as they did before. In an attempt to entice members back we took the decision last month to restore our Sky subscription for the forthcoming year. It is hoped that members will be supportive of using the clubhouse facilities more and help the bar recover to pre pandemic levels.
I hope this update gives members a brief preview of our financial performance ahead of the AGM, and reassure you all of our strong financial position leading into an important year for the club in which we can take full advantage of the fact the Open is being held in St Andrews next year and attract large numbers of visitors.