Renault reports first profit in nearly a decade

Recent filings by the Enstone based outfit reveal that the Renault F1 team has posted a profit for the first time in nearly a decade.

Thanks to a sponsorship deal with BP, revenue at the Enstone-based outfit rose by 13.9pc to £136.3m in 2017, helping the French team to a £1.1m profit following its £3.3m loss in 2016.

“Financial results have improved for a second consecutive year since Renault‘s acquisition of the team at the end of 2015 and for the first time since 2009, the results are showing a profit after tax,” says Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport Racing, according to the filing.

F1 teams, especially those owned by car manufacturers, rarely make a profit, instead opting to spend all their income on R&D and racing while the parent company underwrites it all in the hope of the exposure gained by on-track success.

However, Renault, which bought the team for £1 from a consortium of private equity investors, has not won a title since 2006 and since returning to the sport has invested heavily in the team.

According to the Daily Telegraph, in 2017 it increased its headcount by 95 to 606, its total costs increasing by 10.5% to £133.7m.

Currently fourth in the standings, 21 points clear of Haas, in 2017 Renault finished seventh, having finished ninth in 2016 its first season back in F1 as a constructor.

Because prize money is calculated on the previous year’s results, the improvement is not reflected in the 2017 financial results.

Although the team received “a reduced share of the prize fund, due to the knock-on effect of 2016’s constructors’ championship result, turnover still rose by £16.6m, representing continued growth in sponsorship”, said Abiteboul.

In 2017, Renault increased its investment in the team by £9.6m, giving it a total of £37.9m.