The Lotus Renault GP team – then still known as Renault F1 – made a £40m loss in 2010, its first year under the ownership of Genii.
The team’s accounts reveal that income fell dramatically last year by 49% from £162.0m to £82.1m, reflecting the lack of a title sponsor and the absence of a contribution from former owner Renault.
Operating costs were cut by from £148.7m to £122.1m, the team pointing out that “a significant part of this saving related to the change in the team’s driver line-up.”
In other words the team is telling us that the £26m difference reflected Fernando Alonso’s 2009 salary relative to that of Robert Kubica in 2010 (although the absence of Flavio Briatore-managed Nelson Piquet Jr may also have been a factor).
Operating losses in 2010 were £40.0m, or £34.2m after tax was taken onto account. In 2009 the team made a profit of £4.8m.
It’s well known that the team is committed to some large loans, and the accounts give some fascinating details.
Firstly, it still owes money to Renault: “The company has a loan with the Renault Group, the term of which has been extended to include repayments as follows: 2011 £6m, 2012, £6m, 2013, £8m.”
Secondly there is the arrangement with Lithuania’s AB Snoras Bank, whose logos have appeared on the car: “The company has a loan facility with AB Snoras Bank (£15m) maturing in December 2011. This loan is secured by first ranking security interest over the rights, title and interest in some of the company’s assets with an aggregate value of £24m.”
The team’s staffing levels actually rose from 497 to 514 in 2010, with an extra 12 people employed in adminstration.