The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reported a surprisingly large surplus of $73.9 million (£57.6 million/€63.6 million) for 2019, as surging financial income comfortably overturned the Lausanne body’s operational deficit.
The result is of limited significance in a non-Games year.
It should nonetheless stand the masters of the Olympic universe in good stead as they battle a coronavirus pandemic which has already forced the postponement of the Movement’s main cash cow – the Summer Olympics – and will make a deep mark on this year’s accounts.
By way of comparison, in 2015 – the equivalent year in the prior Olympic cycle – the IOC posted a deficit of $325.8 million (£254.1 million/€280.2 million).
In 2017, another non-Games year, there was a surplus of just $8.7 million (£6.8 million/€7.5 million).
Financial income in the latest period amounted to $159.6 million (£124.5 million/€137.3 million), almost six times the 2018 contribution of $27 million (£21 million/€23.2 million).
An explanatory note attributes the bulk of the improvement to a “fair value increase” of $81.9 million (£63.9 million/€70.4 million) in the IOC’s huge store of financial assets.
These stood at a towering $4.7 billion (£3.7 billion/€4 billion) on December 31, 2019.
The IOC’s The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme continued to power away, delivering another $548.2 million (£427.6 million/€471.5 million) of revenue.
TOP has already yielded $1.65 billion (£1.29 billion/€1.42 billion) in the cycle to date – far in excess of the $1 billion (£780 million/€860 million) it produced over the entire 2013-2016 Olympic quadrennium.
With TOP income surging, the IOC’s contributions from this revenue stream to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) have also been in particularly steep ascent.
In 2019, the accounts indicate, $88.2 million (£68.9 million/€75.9 million) of TOP programme revenue was distributed to the USOPC.
This is an increase of 176.5 per cent from the $31.9 million (£24.9 million/€27.4 million) distributed in 2015, i.e at the same stage in the last Olympic cycle.
Over the same period, distributions from TOP to other National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rose from $40.1 million (£31.3 million/€34.5 million) to $82.9 million (£64.7 million/€71.3 million) – an increase of 106.7 per cent.
Total assets at end-December 2019 were put at $5.3 billion (£4.1 billion/€4.6 billion), up from $4.1 billion (£3.2 billion/€3.5 billion) a year earlier.
The IOC’s fund balance at the end of last year was said to total $2.5 billion (£1.95 billion/€2.15 billion), up from $2.4 billion (£1.87 billion/€2.05 billion) at end-2018.