Lotus F1 team lost £57million in 2015 before Renault takeover

The Lotus Formula 1 team recorded a loss of £57million for 2015, recently published accounts have revealed

Lotus F1 team lost £57million in 2015 before Renault takeover

The exact figure of £56.994m represents a considerable increase in the team's financial loss compared to 2014, which stood at £5.753m.

The accounts are recorded to December 31, 2015, just days after Lotus was taken over by Renault in a deal for Lotus owner Gravity Motorsports to sell a 90% shareholding to Grigny (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of the French manufacturer, for "a consideration of £1".

Team's strategic report claims the "increase in financial loss related to a number of points, some of which are considered not to be ongoing transactions, and therefore a better result is expected in 2016".

The accounts show turnover decreased by £36.3m that related "predominantly to a reduction in sponsorship for the year".

Cost of sales also fell by £11m, as a result of "the difficult season and associated budgetary constraints faced by the company during the year up until the takeover".

Operating expenses increased by £6.7m, while financing costs rose by £1.7m to £22m, however, the report noted that "given a considerable change to the debt structure during 2015" that figure is expected to fall this year, "attributing to the overall expected improved financial results".

With Renault's takeover of Lotus, however, it is also noted that "the financial statements shows a positive movement in shareholders' funds of £76.1m".

Renault's strategy for this year is outlined as simply rebuilding, "to reconstruct the company with the right level of spend, investment and new working practises to reflect Renault's long-term sporting ambitions and strict business plan".

It adds that "on track, improved performance is expected to be achieved in the second half of the season.

"However, due to the handicap resulting from the lack of development during the 2015 season, the team do not expect to improve on the prior year's championship position [of sixth]."

Renault is currently languishing in ninth place after 10 races with just six points to its name.

As part of the accounting policies, the report recognises Renault has deals in place to supply engines to Red Bull and Toro Rosso for the 2017 and '18 seasons.

Significantly, it states that "the directors have a reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and they continue to adopt the going concern principle in the financial statements".

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