Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges talked of “one astonishing figure” related to commingling, a key component of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s long-term business strategy.
“The commingling figure today is a record HK$74 million, which is HK$11 million up on the previous record,” he said.
“Hong Kong racing as a global product is extremely attractive and this shows that it definitely has further growth potential. This season the commingling turnover was up by 31%, which is amazing.
“We are already looking forward to another good season ahead, the first in Hong Kong’s history to offer 88 domestic race meetings, and with an increase in our overseas simulcast occasions to 23, up from 15,” he said.
The Hong Kong’s 2015/16 season, which closed out at Sha Tin racecourse, had a stronger than anticipated financial performance across its 83 race meetings. The season’s HK$106.14 billion total turnover was the second-highest ever recorded and only marginally down on last year’s all-time peak figure.
Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said: “A year ago, despite having just secured record turnover figures, we talked about the season ahead being one of resilience due to the slowing down of the Hong Kong economy, that this naturally would have an impact on our financials.
“But Hong Kong racing has shown tremendous resilience. The total gross margin, which is what we have as a Club to run our operation, was HK$4.458 billion, which is only down by 1% – so in the overall context this is an extremely good result – and from April onwards we had a very positive trend, so this leaves us cautiously optimistic for next season.”
The record turnover for a single season of HK$107.92 billion posted one year ago was the summit of what Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges termed “a remarkable decade of growth”, the total for season 2005/06 having been only HK$60 billion.
“Our betting duty contribution for this year was HK$12.1 billion, whereas if you go back 10 years that figure was HK$8 billion, so this contribution to the Hong Kong community is certainly something that we are very proud of,” he said.