Wellington - The New Zealand Rugby Union has reported a $9.6 million (US$7.7 million) annual profit, a year after suffering a loss of almost the same amount.
Foreign exchange gains out of last year's World Cup of $13.4 million (US$10.8 million) offset a $3.1 million (US2.5 million) operating loss to improve the union's bottom line 12 months after it reported a loss of $9.4 million (US$7.6 million).
Chairman Mike Eagle said "we are satisfied with our overall financial performance in the face of economic conditions which continue to be the most challenging our organization has faced for many years."
Eagle said the foreign exchange gains underpinning the profit reflected the reconciliation between agreed payments from tournament organisers and the value of sterling held to meet the NZRU's share of the tournament host fee.
Chief executive Steve Tew said the union was budgeting to break even in 2012 despite pressure on revenues from economic conditions and a strong New Zealand dollar.
"We will also shortly be announcing several significant sponsor renewals and that is a strong sign of confidence in our commercial model," Tew said.
While, the New Zealand union's financial position appears robust, several New Zealand provincial unions are struggling and the 132-year-old Otago Rugby Union recently narrowly avoided liquidation.