(Reuters) – Britain’s Jockey Club on Sunday announced record financial results with its revenue exceeding 200 million pounds for the first time and operating profit before prize money rising to 44.8 million pounds.

The organisation, which stages some of the most popular events in British sport including racing’s Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Derby, delivered its ninth straight year of turnover growth with a record 201.1 million pounds.

The club also put a record 22.9 million pounds back into racing through prize money. The total prize money at its racecourses in 2017 was 45.7 million pounds, up from 43.6 million pounds the previous year.

“I’m very pleased to report we were able to make a record financial contribution to British racing in 2017 as a result of achieving a ninth successive year of commercial growth,” chief executive Simon Bazalgette said in a statement.

“We’re working hard to build The Jockey Club brand to create more value to benefit British racing, including through the record partnership revenues this is helping us to achieve.”

Increased prize money and operating investments meant the group reduced its operating profit after prize money to 21.9 million pounds from 22.6 million pounds in 2016.

“We are now making some good strides in terms of our efforts to engage more people across the country in our sport, which is vital for the future,” Bazalgette added.

The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and currently operates 15 racecourses across Britain including The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and its charity, Racing Welfare.

Limited by Royal Charter, the club generates profits to reinvest back into Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris


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