Williams has posted increased revenues from its Formula 1 business for 2018 despite a tough season for the team on track.
Last year saw Williams slip to last in the constructors’ championship, with the team picking up just seven points in total and finishing 26 adrift of the Toro Rosso in ninth. Even amid such a difficult time competitively, Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC announced increased profits for the group, while the F1 business itself saw revenue increase from £125.6 million ($164.3m) in 2017 to £130.7m ($170.9m).
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited registered the same earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of £16m ($20.9m) over 2018 as the previous year, with the company saying its revenues were “supported by a non-recurring one-off item.”
For the group overall — that also includes Williams Advanced Engineering Limited — revenues were up from £166.2m ($217.4m) to £176.5m ($230.8m) in 2018, while EBITDA grew by £2.1m ($2.8m) to £12.9m ($16.9m) last year.
Group CEO Mike O’Driscoll says the on-track performance is in part due to the difference in budgets between F1 teams, with Williams backing Liberty Media’s plans to reduce costs and introduce a budget cap.
“The financial results for 2018 represent another year of strong performance at Williams,” O’Driscoll said. “Revenue was up in both the Formula 1 operation and Williams Advanced Engineering in 2018, following on from similarly strong performances in recent years.
“Our Formula 1 team had high expectations that we could build on four years of very solid performance in the FIA Constructors’ Championship but unfortunately, we struggled to maintain the pace of technical development and endured a difficult season.
“There is a very large gap in competitive expenditure between the leading teams and the rest of the grid, but we are increasingly hopeful that Liberty Media’s long-term vision and plans for the future of the sport can deliver a more level playing field on which all teams can compete fairly.
“In the meantime, we are intensely focused on improving our own performance, following a tough start to this season’s campaign. We were delighted to commence a new title partnership with ROKiT and to welcome Orlen to our partner community for 2019, demonstrating the continued strength of the Williams brand.”
The title partnership with Martini came to an end after the 2018 season, with Williams confirming the ROKiT deal ahead of pre-season testing this year.