Sports Business: Wanda Sports posts 9% fall in revenues in 2019

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Wanda Sports Group, the owner of the Infront agency and the sports arm of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, has reported revenues of $1.12bn in 2019, a 9-per-cent fall on 2018.

The subsidiary, which launched an initial public offering in USA in July last year, and raised $190 million after selling around 23.8 million shares on the US Nasdaq, announced its annual and fourth-quarter revenues for last year earlier today.

Wanda Sports, the owners of Infront sports agency, secured $286.8 million in revenue in the three months up to 31 December 2019, but made a loss of $307.4 million last year overall.

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The company, formed in 2015 on the back of the $1.21-billion acquisition of Infront at the start of that year, is believed to have total debt of close to $1 billion.

Last summer’s IPO raised less money than had been expected, with shares being sold at $8 instead of a previously-stated target of between $9 and $11. This was understood to have been down to lukewarm US investor demand for Chinese stocks at the time.

Wanda Sports’ EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) came to $187.9 million for the whole of 2019, and $50.3 million in Q4.

During 2019 Wanda’s sports division signed a range of deals with: World Athletics to organise an annual Chinese Diamond League meeting; North American basketball’s NBA to sell sponsorship rights across France and Italy; the International Skating Union until 2023 to handle its media rights