The IGB has finalised its draft 2019 annual accounts (unaudited) and the preliminary indications from the accounts indicate an overall surplus in 2019 of €1.46M. This represents a reduction on the returned surplus in 2018 of €1.85M.
Prize money spend in the year increased from €9.1M to €9.6M. Increased income was also evident from the sale of media rights through the introduction of additional meetings and the initiation of early morning race meetings at Kilkenny and Waterford. Gross income for the year from the sale of media rights was €2.1M.
The dedicated greyhound Care Fund introduced in September 2019 showed a credit balance of €247K at year end. The funding, provided from sponsorship, admissions and commercial income will be utilised for care and welfare initiatives including re-homing initiatives, care centres and the introduction of a traceability system for greyhounds.
Projects advanced during 2019 were the tender process for the scanning and traceability system (preferred supplier identified); the introduction of Greyhound Care Centres (one contract signed and a second contract imminent); a significant partnership with the Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) and with Finding Loving Irish Greyhounds Homes Together (FLIGHT) which has seen the initial transportation of greyhounds to Boston, Atlanta and Washington. This partnership will be further expanded during 2020.
An extended foster care network is now in place involving 15 different fosterers with 131 greyhounds currently in foster care.
Capital investment in 2019 included the provision of a new Racing Management System (€225K), replacement hare drive and timing systems at all tracks (€240K), upgrade of CCTV infrastructure (€216K), fire safety improvement works (€68K), grant scheme for private tracks for welfare and health and safety initiatives (€200K), tote & IT systems upgrade (€125K), track upgrades, veterinary facilities improvement and general stadia improvements (€200K).
During the year 5,702 samples were analysed at the INAB accredited National Greyhound Laboratory with 15 adverse analytical findings (0.26%) being returned. All adverse analytical findings are published on the Board’s website.
The annual accounts will be published later in 2020 following audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General.