Boro promotion hits Gibson O’Neill profits

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The Gibson O’Neill group has suffered a dip in profits after Steve Gibson’s firm propped up Boro’s promotion to the Premier League.

Gibson O’Neill Company Ltd, the parent company of Bulkhaul, Middlesbrough FC and Rockliffe Hall, saw its operating profit fall from £27.3m in 2015 to £9.2m last year.

The steep drop in profitability was attributed to “the costs incurred by MFC in achieving promotion”, says Gibson in the firm’s company accounts.

Gibson O’Neill’s total turnover increased by 3.2% to £201.5m for the year ending June 30 2016.

Bulkhaul, which specialises in the transportation of container tanks, saw its turnover increase by 2.8% from £164.7m to £169.3m.

Meanwhile, Rockliffe Hall added nearly £700,000 to its top line, bringing its revenue to £10.7m, although the Hurworth-based luxury spa and golf course still made a £1.2m pre-tax loss.

In Gibson O’Neill’s results, director and Boro chairman Gibson said: “As reflected in their respective financial statements, Bulkhaul has continued to perform strongly in the year covered by these financial statements, committing to its long term confident outlook by continuing to take delivery of newly built tanks to increase its already considerable fleet of owned tank containers.

“Rockliffe has continued to perform well with year on year growth in revenue streams and continued capital developments, notable the extended spa facility with further growth forecast.”

Although Middlesbrough FC also saw its turnover grow by £1.1m to £21.5m, the increased costs of the club being promoted to the Premier League were blamed for the overall loss.

In the accounts, Gibson added: “MFC operates in a challenging business environment and market sector where revenue streams can fluctuate significantly depending on team performance on the pitch and costs can be unrelated to income being generated.

“MFC continual reviews the level of fixed costs incurred with a view to restricting unnecessary expense and match costs to revenue streams.”

Gibson O’Neill’s staffing costs increased from £41.5m to £54.7m in 2016. This was largely caused by the firm growing its headcount by 71. This included five new players, 10 drivers and mechanics, and 56 new office workers and managers.


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