Global Edition

Many club operators struggle to break even

8.15am 19th October 2006 - Management Topics

Almost half of the UK’s golf course companies are struggling to break even, whilst the other half are delivering outstanding returns, says a new study published by industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing Ltd.
The research has looked at the financial performance of each of the top 960 UK golf course operating companies and has analysed their latest profitability figures. It found a great discrepancy in the level of profitability and a worrying trend for the majority of the companies analysed. Just a few of the facts extracted from the analysis are.

  • Almost half of the 960 companies averaged a -3.2% pre-tax profit margin; this is down from last year when the average was 0.1%.
  • The owners of these companies are going through lean times with an average return on investment of -5%, falling from -0.2% last year.
  • Over a third of golf course operating companies have reported a loss for the year, for 37% of these companies this is now their second year of loss making.

David Pattison senior analyst at Plimsoll Publishing comments, “We are seeing from these numbers just how tricky the recent trading period has been for companies to return a profit and how many are really struggling. Yet at the same time over half of companies assessed seem untouched by recent cost increases and competitive pricing. They have been able to record fantastic results.”
David’s view is supported by facts from the analysis.

  • Over half of the 960 companies make 7.9% margins on average.
  • The owners at these winning companies are averaging a 6.1% return on their investment.
  • Sixteen highly profitably companies identified in the analysis are enjoying their fourth consecutive year of profit growth.

David Pattison continues, “Losing money might not be a complete disaster for your company, but it is likely to cause long term damage as your investment is constrained and your ability to retain staff becomes compromised. These companies may well find that they will not be able to keep pace with those companies who have the profits behind them to finance investment.”
The full 1,235 paged analysis contains a detailed analysis of each of the 960 companies. It is aimed at anyone with a commercial interest in the UK’s leading golf operators companies, whether these are customers, suppliers, or competitors.
Copies of the analysis are available for £350 from Plimsoll Publishing Ltd by email to or by visiting
Readers of Golf Business can receive a 5% discount when ordering online by entering the code PR01 at the checkout.


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