LANCASHIRE COUNTY Cricket Club has marked a return to profitability after four successive years of losses by announcing a record operating profit of more than £3.5 million for the year ending December 31, 2013.
The club also more than doubled its revenue to just over £19 million thanks largely to six successful days of international cricket which saw approaching 150,000 spectators - a record number for the ground - attend the redeveloped Emirates Old Trafford for the Investec Ashes Test and a NatWest Series ODI against Australia.
Following the completion of the stadium redevelopment, the club was successful in establishing new partnerships with major corporate brands, including a 10-year naming rights deal with Emirates and the sponsorship of the new Players and Media Centre by AJ Bell.
These were supplemented by the club's existing long-term relationships with Thwaites and Hill Dickinson which helped to deliver growth in annual sponsorship to a value in excess of £1 million.
The Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford also boosted the local economy by an estimated £20 million, and therefore it is vitally important that Lancashire County Cricket Club continues to host major matches in the future for the benefit of the North West region.
In 2014, the club has a number of opportunities to build on this success with Sri Lanka and India providing the opposition at Emirates Old Trafford.
Hosting India for a Test Match for the first time since Sachin Tendulkar's maiden Test hundred in 1990 provides a mouth-watering prospect which will again help the Club towards achieving a strong financial performance.
Last year the Club achieved an encouraging 36 per cent increase in domestic cricket revenue and believes that this figure will increase significantly in 2014 with the promotion back to Division One of the LV= County Championship and the introduction of the new NatWest T20 Blast competition supported by a guaranteed five Friday evening matches.