Stadium financials: JimmyJones v Peter Hutchison (DVML) on accounting method

### ODT Online Wed, 31 Oct 2012
Stadium finances dismay
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s finances are “not sustainable”, after confirmation the company running the venue lost nearly $1 million more than expected in its first year of operation. The result was contained in Dunedin Venues Management Ltd’s 2011-12 annual report, released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, which showed the company lost $3.2 million in its first year. […]A copy of Dunedin Venues Ltd’s annual report was also released yesterday, and showed the company that owned the stadium – and received rent from DVML – recorded a $4.312 million loss for the same period.
Mr Hutchison cautioned against adding the two losses together, as they overlapped, and because DVL’s results were largely accounting losses – not cash – and expected. “It [DVL] is behaving exactly as it should do.”
Read more

More ‘fallout’ stories at the Otago Daily Times:
● Wed, 31 Oct 2012 – Report about stadium loss slips under radar
● Thu, 1 Nov 2012 – Councillors blindsided by DVML results
● Thu, 1 Nov 2012 – Stadium loss rates fears
● Fri, 2 Nov 2012 – Stadium rate ‘tax on being busy’

The following comments appear at ODT Online, in reply:

DVL loss not as expected
Submitted by JimmyJones on Thu, 01/11/2012 – 2:56pm.

DVL and DVML director Peter Hutchison says that the size of DVML’s $4.3 million loss was as expected. This statement does not match with the official forecast in DVL’s Statement of Intent which predicted that the year’s result for 2012 would be $6.5 million (before the ratepayer subsidy). This latest result is a loss of $11.6 million (before ratepayer subsidy) – so this is much worse than expected.
The loss of $11.6 million is much bigger than the official $4.3 million loss because this doesn’t include the $7.3 million DCC subsidy. It is wrong to exclude the DCC subsidy when considering the overall effect on the finances of the DCC and the ratepayers. Both DVL and DVML are paid a subsidy that doesn’t show-up in their net profit/loss figures.

****

Stadium losses add up
Submitted by JimmyJones on Thu, 01/11/2012 – 11:47pm.

Mr Hutchison, the director of the stadium owning company DVL, says that the losses of DVL and DVML can’t be added together because they overlap. This is misleading and seems to go against the basic principles of accounting. Each of the companies is a separate entity and they have separately audited accounts. To say that the losses overlap is to claim that one or both full year results are wrongly stated. As a director, Peter Hutchison did however vote that these accounts were true and correct; Their auditor has agreed with this. There is no overlap, and they can be added together.

Adding the two losses gives $3.2m + $4.3m = $7.5 million. The real loss is, however, a lot more than $7.5 million because this figure does not include a number of disclosed and undisclosed subsidies, paid either directly or indirectly by Dunedin’s renters and ratepayers. The DCC has so far actively avoided providing the total of all the ongoing losses and costs of their stadium.

****

Big, real, ugly, stadium loss
Submitted by JimmyJones on Thu, 01/11/2012 – 11:57pm.

Mr Hutchison says that “DVL’s results were largely accounting losses – not cash – and expected”. In saying this he is implying that the year’s loss is mostly not a real loss. Our accounting system has evolved over a few thousand years to provide the most “real” measure of profit/loss. This is about the best we can do, and that means that both cash and non-cash items are included. If Mr Hutchison thinks he has a better way, he should write a book about it, but in the mean time he needs to stick to the standard NZIFRS method. His statement is in fact wrong, because most of DVL’s expenses are actually cash expenses and because the loss is a real, authentic, auditor certified loss. DVL’s finances are a sensitive area for the DCC, and Mr Hutchison should not be seen to be promoting any particular viewpoint.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

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