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Further operating losses for Kent County Cricket Club

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Kent County Cricket Club made an operating loss for the third year in a row - though figures released on Monday lunchtime are a marked improvement on those reported a year ago.

The club’s accounts for the year ending October 31, 2010, show an operating loss of just over £595,000, which is significantly better than the figure of more than £800,000 reported last year.

It is also an improvement of around £100,000 on the operating loss for 2007/08.

The club’s accounts - being sent to members this week - actually show the club posted a profit of just over £3.5m last year - though the figure came about from the planned sale of two areas of land at the club’s St Lawrence Ground home in Canterbury which brought in more than £4.1m.

The reason for the operating loss is largely due to a significant drop in match-day takings - with £465,000 being lost in gate receipts, commercial revenue, catering and retail operations combined.

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The figure was described as ‘catastrophic’ by the club’s honorary treasurer Simon Philip in his annual report.

Mr Philip blamed the football World Cup and cricket’s ‘low profile’ in the media last summer for the drop in attendances, which led to a 36 per cent decrease in gate receipts - a loss of £243,000.

The operating loss could have been worse but for the club cutting its cloth the previous winter by reducing off-field costs by £338,000.

Kent do not expect things to be much better this time next year, with Mr Phillip revealing the club has budgeted for a £400,000 operating loss for 2010/11.

The accounts also revealed club chairman George Kennedy has been repaid the £300,000 he lent the club a year ago to provide a cash-flow boost.

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