NZRL in worse financial woes than feared

Chairman Ray Haffenden has confirmed New Zealand Rugby League's (NZRL) 2007 financial result was worse than expected.

He said the final audit had established the NZRL had incurred an operational loss of $NZ1.7 million ($A1.46 million) for the year ending December 31, 2007.

"We were forecasting a $NZ1.25 million ($A1.08 million) loss so this is obviously considerably more than we had expected or wanted," he said in a statement.

"The fact is we find ourselves operating in a sporting landscape that is presenting enormous financial challenges not just for the NZRL but for a lot of organisations.

"We face an uphill battle to recover lost ground but we believe we have systems in place that will enable us to improve our performance."

Haffenden said there were several reasons for the scale of the operating loss.

"As we indicated in December, there was a significant shortfall in gaming grant revenue and in our expectations from the centenary Test in Wellington," he said.

"We can confirm we were $NZ800,000 ($A689,000) short in the funding area and $NZ400,000 ($A344,515) under budget for the centenary Test.

"The budgeted surplus of $NZ300,000 ($A258,386) from the tour to the United Kingdom wasn't realised, mainly due to poor support for the game between the All Golds and the Northern Union.

"There were also substantial one-off costs as a result of the reforms we have made constitutionally and commercially.

"The majority of these reforms were committed to in 2006 but the costs were paid in our 2007 financial year."

In addition to the operating loss, Haffenden said the NZRL had written off $NZ1.04 million ($A895,741) as the final balance owing from Rugby League NZ Limited (RLNZ), a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of NZRL.

The NZRL received a significant payment as part of the Super League settlement in the late 1990s.

This money was loaned to RLNZ to invest in activities that would generate independent revenue streams to underwrite NZRL operations.

This adjustment reflects the realisable value of the investments as at December 31, 2007.

Haffenden said more detail about the financial result would be made available to stakeholders at the NZRL's annual meeting in Auckland on March 29.