For the year 2014/5 the company reported a record pre-tax profit of £6.7m. The increase in turnover of 50% to £34.9m benefits from 12 months of The SSE Hydro trading and the impact of hosting the Commonwealth Games. Commercial turnover for the year also increased by 98% driven by the income stream from sponsorship and hospitality.
Overall operating costs increased by 21% from £23.1m to £27.9m as a result of the enlarged business. The scale of the Commonwealth Games overlaid on the first full year of operation of The SSE Hydro together with development of the other sectors of the business led to a significant increase in EBITDA to £9.1m.
The 2014/5 results reported growth in the Conference and Exhibition sectors due to greater space availability brought about by the arrival of The SSE Hydro. The company also recorded that Conference turnover increased by 12% and despite difficult conditions in the Exhibition sector, turnover increased by 8% helped by the return of biennial shows and other new launches. Live Entertainment turnover increased by 44% with a full year of events hosted in The SSE Hydro.
Speaking at the announcement, Peter Duthie, Chief Executive, SECC said: “These are outstanding results which should be measured, not only in financial terms, but also by the increased economic impact generated by the campus with over 2.15 million visitors and numerous prestigious events held during the year. We welcomed the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony, the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. As a result of the business conducted by the company the net additional expenditure in Glasgow was estimated at £485m, in Scotland £273m and in the UK, £117m. The SECC was a key venue for the Commonwealth Games however it is important to note that these expenditure figures exclude any impact from this event.
“The SSE Hydro has been the catalyst for this success. The venue hosted over 130 live entertainment performances in the year, with over 1 million visitors making it the second busiest live entertainment arena in the world in 2014.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “This is fantastic news and demonstrates exactly why we were right to invest in the city’s world class venues.
“The success of both the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and The SSE Hydro has been phenomenal and these figures give another indication of how the city has benefited. Glasgow is one of the UK’s outstanding performers in the tourism and events business and confidence in us is at an all-time high. What’s more, our forecast is that 2015 will be another high performing year for the tourist industry in Glasgow.”
Peter Duthie concluded: “The profits generated during the year will be reinvested in the campus to ensure the existing facilities continue to meet the needs of our customers in an increasingly competitive market. “Whilst this year’s results are exceptional we do not expect a repeat of this in the current financial year. Whilst still showing overall underlying growth, next year’s results will be influenced by the major new investment programme already underway to ensure that The SSE Hydro is part of a truly world class campus.
“Having a venue on the campus with 365 days a year availability has increased the number of events hosted. Demand for future events in The SSE Hydro continues to be strong with a host of international artists including Neil Diamond, Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac and, performing in one of only two UK venues during their world tour, U2."