CART reports $14.5m loss for 2002

Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc, the NYSE-listed Champ Car series promoter in Indianapolis, IN, yesterday announced a net loss of $14.5m for the year ended December 31, 2002 (compared with $950,000 in 2001). CART conducted 19 races in 2002, one fewer than the previous season. Its total expenses amounted to $81.9m ($78.8m), with revenues of $57.2m ($70.3m). CART maintains a strong balance sheet, with cash and short-term investments of $86.3m, working capital of $92.3m, and no debt

CART reports $14.5m loss for 2002

CART's total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2002 were $13.8m (down from $14.5m in 2001). In line with the company's cost control initiatives, expenses declined to $16.0m ($20.8m in 2001, including a one-off $2.9m severance expense). The net Q4 loss narrowed to $989,000 (from $3.3m).

The company says that, because of the evolving business model for its Champ Car World Series, it has elected not to provide forward-looking financial guidance at this time. It intends to publish its strategic outlook on its 2003 year in the second quarter.

CFO Thomas L. Carter noted: "Due to the new marketing-driven business structure of CART, revenues and expenses, particularly those relating to TV, sanction fees and race promotion line items, are not comparable to prior-year results."

CEO Chris Pook added: "This past year marked a period of significant progress in our transition of CART and the Champ Car World Series from a sanctioning body to a powerful marketing delivery mechanism for multi-national corporations to reach target audiences in major markets across NAFTA venues, Europe and Australia. While we faced challenges on many fronts, the strides we made in implementing adjustments to CART's business structure are designed to create a stable foundation and support the future growth of the series. We have in place a much leaner, talented management team to execute our strategic growth plan. We restructured operations to maximize the marketing potential for our sponsorships, and we initiated the most robust team support programme in the history of CART."

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