Gibson O’Neill profits up 300% to £23.7m

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

steve gibson

The parent company of Middlesbrough FC and Bulkhaul has seen profits leap from £5.9m to a whopping £23.7m.

The impressive figures, which are for the year up to June 30 2015, represent a 300% climb on 2014.

But it’s further evidence of how Boro chairman Steve Gibson, the majority shareholder in Gibson O’Neill, is able to use his hugely-successful haulage firm to prop up both his beloved football club and luxury five-star Rockliffe Hall hotel.

The Gibson O’Neill accounts show the overall performance for Middlesbrough FC, Bulkhaul and Rockliffe, showing a combined turnover of £195m (up from £193m the previous year), with wages across the three businesses rising from £31.9m to £36.1m.

But the detailed financial results for the three operating companies are all released separately.

In January, Tees Business reported how Bulkhaul saw pre-tax profits climb from £31.5m to £35.7m, despite turnover dropping from £170m to £164m in 2015.

Last week, Rockliffe Hall’s annual accounts showed how the plush hotel, spa and golf complex in Hurworth reported losses of £1.2m.

Middlesbrough FC’s accounts for 2015 are yet to be disclosed, but Gibson O’Neill figures show that the club’s turnover for the year jumped from £12.6m to £20.3m.

However, the club is still likely to report hefty losses, with Gibson – one of three Gibson O’Neill directors along with Mike O’Neill and Terry Jackson – plugging the shortfall.

In the report, Gibson said: “MFC are hoping to mount a serious challenge for promotion to the Premier League with all the attendant benefits but with a clear cost management plan in place in the event of the club continuing to perform in the Championship.”

The report adds: “Bulkhaul has continued to perform strongly in the year covered by these accounts.

“MFC has suffered the challenge of continued Championship football. Rockliffe has continued to perform well in difficult economic conditions.”

In Rockliffe’s accounts, Gibson insisted growing revenues, driven by increased memberships across the resort, will help to move the five-star resort into the black.

The award-winning facility, which employs around 280, saw sales grow from £9.7m to £10.3m, aided by higher average room rates, with pre-tax losses down to £1.2m compared to £1.4m the previous year.

“Risks to the business are generally seen as competitive – with regional hotels still discounting to fill rooms and the development of a number of spa and golf facilities in the North-East,” added Gibson.

“The business is also reaching the mature ‘stage’ and will have to be very creative, while holding the service standards, to increase footfall across the resort.

“Overall, the key guest ratios continue to improve while the cost base remains reasonably static – positioning the business to expand profitability going forward.”


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