Northampton Saints made a pre-tax profit of £652,000 in the last season, recording its 16th year in a row of profitability.
The club also increased its turnover by just under one percent to £16.6 million.
Saints chairman, Tony Hewitt, said he was delighted with the results, which came at a time when there was no Anglo-Welsh Cup or home knockout games, while the building of the new Barwell Stand had impacted on the club’s ability to offer conferencing and events business.
In his annual chairman’s statement, he said: “I would like to thank the board of directors, all our staff and players for their commitment and hard work throughout the year,
“We all depend on each other, and for a club like Northampton Saints to be successful it needs everyone to be working together for the same aim.”
Hewitt added that there are plenty of reasons to feel positive for the campaign going forward, building on a year that saw 13 players from the Saints represent four countries and the team reach the knockout stages of the European Rugby Champions Cup for a second successive year.
“It says a great deal about the expectations we have here at Northampton Saints that a fifth-placed finish in the Aviva Premiership and a second successive quarter final in the European Rugby Champions Cup - losing to the eventual champions, Saracens - and a place in the final of the Aviva ‘A’ League is regarded as underachievement,” he said.
“We were proud to have Dylan Hartley become the first Saint to captain England to a Six Nations Grand Slam and then lead his country to an unprecedented whitewash of Australia in the June tour. We were also delighted to see Harry Mallinder, who has come through our Academy, lead England to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship title.
“Providing a match day experience to our supporters that encourages them to come back game after game is crucial, and we are committed to improve this, as well as giving players, coaches and support staff the facilities they need to create a successful team.”
Chief executive Allan Robson said that the increased capacity available at Franklin’s Gardens which has been brought by the Barwell Stand development is already having a positive impact on attendances, and was happy that commercial revenues still grew despite the disruptions the building work brought for half the year.
“Supported by our highest ever number of season ticket Holders, up 17.5 percent at 10,286, we increased our average home attendance to 14,835, over 97 percent of our enlarged capacity. We were pleased that despite the unavailability of the new Barwell Stand hospitality facilities until January, match day hospitality sales showed an increase of five percent on the previous year with demand for executive boxes exceeding supply.”
Going into the 2016/17 the Saints have new sponsors - global heavy equipment manufacturer Kubota and GRS Group, the country’s leading aggregate transporter - as well as renewed deals with Principal Sponsor Travis Perkins plc and existing Elite Sponsor Hankook Tyres and a new teamwear and leisurewear partner in Macron.
With the coming season also seeing the start of a new eight-year agreement between Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union, Robson joined Hewitt in feeling positive about the future.
“The essence of the new agreement is continued and improved guaranteed access to selected players for the England representative sides in exchange for improved funding to the clubs which develop and employ these players,” he said.
“Great emphasis has been placed on the clubs achieving certain criteria regarding Academy standards and English Qualified Player levels, which all parties agree will be of benefit to the English game generally. Saints will continue to support the spirit and detail of this new agreement whilst striving for its own success on the field and off it.
“The club was able to increase its expenditure on players by over £1 million in the Rugby World Cup year, and we also believe it is critically important to ensure that investment is maintained in our future by ensuring that our Academy and youth development system continues to set the standard for other clubs to follow, and in 2015/16 expenditure in this area was also increased.
“The Board continues to acknowledge that the success and future of Northampton Saints is the strength of our relationship with supporters and sponsors and in 2016/17 will therefore see not only increased investment in our playing department but also into the Franklin’s Gardens match day experience.”