It’s been a time of significant change at Gloucester Rugby in the past few months, but in the midst of all the activity, the club has been driving a strong performance off the pitch and are delighted to declare another year of impressive growth.
Despite an ever competitive business environment, these results will be the best recorded in the club's history.
The club filed its latest set of accounts this week, revealing a turnover of £12m, up 3.7% on the previous year, whilst returning a pre-tax profit of £512k, up nearly 68% on the previous year.
This strong set of results has been achieved whilst investing record levels in the coaching, playing and support staff, as well as developing the rugby environment at the Hartpury Training Centre and investing in a number of projects at Kingsholm.
Kingsholm, set to host four games at Rugby World Cup 2015, has also seen investment in infrastructure to ensure the club is ready for the world's eyes to turn to Gloucester next year and that investment is set to continue.
CEO Stephen Vaughan was delighted with the performance:
"It has, of course, been a challenging 12 months. There has been a significant amount of movement in playing department personnel and that naturally can cause unrest. However under David Humphreys' guidance, I believe we are putting in the right foundations to deliver success in the long term.
"From a business perspective, the economy has shown signs of improving but we have had to continue to work hard to remain competitive on and off the field.
"These results have been achieved despite what was a tough season on the field of play. For the club to increase turnover and profit reflects the hard work of everyone at the club, and is also thanks to the continued magnificent support of our sponsors and supporters who have been first class in every respect.
"Success on the pitch is what drives us and is why we are here. So it is crucial that we continue to compete financially with the richest clubs in England when it comes to the playing and support personnel, so we will be working even harder to ensure we can generate the revenues to do just that moving forward.
"We have a record number of quality sponsors, hospitality revenue was the highest it has been since the Mira Showers stand was built in 2007 and our loyal Club Members remain the bedrock of the club.
"With Rugby World Cup 2015 on the horizon, and Kingsholm hosting four matches, Rugby Union is on the verge of a very exciting time and we hope that Gloucester Rugby will continue to be at the very heart of it.”
Among other projects, the club launched a cashless payment system to parts of the stadium, on top of introducing an interest free direct debit option to spread the cost of Club Membership. This has been well received with 30% of season ticket holders taking up the option.
The club will develop this over the coming months to look to release the 2015/16 Club Membership packages before Christmas 2014, offering the option to pay over a full 12 month period.
The club continues to see growth in online and social media engagement and has also recently launched a lifestyle magazine '@holm', giving fans unique content on all things behind the scenes happening at the club.
The club also welcomed Japan to play at Kingsholm in November 2013, will host a fixture between the USA and Tonga in November and also have plans for concerts and other games next year pre-world cup.
Chairman Ryan Walkinshaw was quick to praise the efforts of everyone at the club.
"I'm delighted that we've been able to deliver another set of positive financial results.
"Once again, we've shown that you can compete at the highest level of club rugby and still deliver a profitable business. Despite finishing below where we would expect to last season, we have shown that a good business model and strong leadership, allied with great support from fans and sponsors allows us to sustain our solid footing as a truly self-sustainable club.
Co-owner Martin St Quinton added:
"We're committed to continuing this good work and, with David Humphreys and his coaches and players, we have a high quality group of people at the club.
"I believe that we are putting the building blocks in place that over time will put Gloucester Rugby back where we belong, challenging at the top end of the Aviva Premiership and giving our supporters a team to be proud of.”