Wanda reports 12-per-cent rise in first-half group revenue
Wanda Group, the China-based multinational conglomerate that owns the Infront Sports & Media agency, has reported a 12.4-per-cent rise in revenue to 134.9 billion yuan ($19.8 billion) for the first half of 2017.
Turnover at Wanda’s Cultural Industry Group, which includes Wanda Sports Holding and also has widespread interests in film, tourism and children’s entertainment, rose by 5.9 per cent to 30.8 billion yuan and were ahead of target.
Wanda did not divulge a specific revenue figure for its sports operations.
Excluding the performance of Wanda’s tourism unit, which was bought by ticketing website ly.com earlier this year, revenues increased by 31 per cent year on year.
The overall growth in group revenue was driven to some extent by a 16-per-cent increase in turnover at Wanda's film arm.
The improved first-half revenues at Wanda come after last month’s reports that the conglomerate is a target of the China Banking Regulatory Commission with regard to the fundraising activities of some companies making high-profile overseas acquisitions.
Wanda has set a target of 6.9 billion yuan in revenues from its sports activities in 2017.
Revenues from sports activities rose by 9 per cent to 6.4 billion yuan last year.
The Wanda Sports Holding division was formed on the back of the €1.05-billion ($1.2-billion) acquisition of Infront at the start of 2015, and also houses Wanda’s $650-million investment in the World Triathlon Corporation.
Wanda made various additions to its sports rights portfolio last year, including: a 17-year agreement with FIBA to sell worldwide sponsorship and licensing rights; Infront's exclusive eight-year media and sponsorship rights distribution agreement with the Badminton World Federation; a long-term sponsorship deal with Fifa; and the acquisition of Lagardère’s endurance division through Ironman.
Wanda Sports established a headquarters in the city of Guangzhou at the end of 2015 amid bold plans to become the world’s first sports company with an annual income of more than $10 billion.