Great North Run organiser Nova Marketing toasted a strong performance last year thanks to rising numbers of participants in its events all over the UK.
The Newcastle firm, which trades as the Great Run Company, is famed for staging the world’s largest half marathon in the North East, which was won for a sixth time by Sir Mo Farah earlier this month.
The company – which now operates a number of 10k, half marathon and marathon events around the UK – crossed the finishing line on December 31 with turnover of £20.3m, an increase of £305,000 on the previous period, driven by new events.
New events include the Great Stirling Run, though Nova said that the Scottish marathon event has now come to an end, as well as a second event in Scotland, as part of continuing plans to consolidate events and explore new ones.
Accounts filed by the Newcastle firm showed operating profit fell to £747,502 from the £1.06m posted for the nine month period previously recorded.
While the larger sum covered a smaller time frame, the firm said it can’t be compared to the latest figure because, due to the seasonal nature of the business, the previous nine-month accounting period “from April to December encompasses the majority of our activity”.
A report by the directors said: “The year to December 2018 saw another period of strong perfomance from the group, both financially and operationally, with another year of increased participant numbers across the portfolio of Great Run events.
“Throughout 2018 the group has continued to develop its portfolio, through the introduction of new events, such as the Great Stirling Run and a relaunch of the UK’s largest open water swimming event, the Great North Swim, at a new location in the Lake District National Park.”
The firm said it is focusing on consolidating events, which has seen the Great Stirling Run marathon and the Great Aberdeen Run come to an end. It also said it is now looking ahead to new events including its inaugural London Ultra Marathon, which takes place on October 5.
Meanwhile, its film and TV production division FilmNova saw growth, operating as host broadcaster of the 2018 World Indoor Athletics Championships while also starting a three-year contract with UEFA to produce promotional trailers for the Champions League and Europa League. It also retained live coverage of the Cardiff half marathon for BBC Wales and won a tender for coverage of the London Landmarks half marathon.
Looking ahead, next year FilmNova will be host broadcaster for the rowing and canoe sprint at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
A spokesperson at The Great Run Company said: “Our event portfolio regularly changes and evolves in line with customer feedback. This year some of our limited time contracted events have come to an end and a mutual decision was reached with partners not to renew.