McLaren's profits driven lower

After-tax profits at McLaren Formula One team fell £34.4m to £15.8m last year, driven lower by a loss of investment from the former major shareholder, Mercedes.

The accounts for the year ending 31 December 2010 show turnover of £148.7m, down £26.1m on the previous year as investment from Mercedes fell from £34.8m to £2.6m.

Mercedes said at the end of 2009 that it would sell its 40 per cent stake in McLaren back to other shareholders – Bahrain's Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund, Saudi tycoon Mansour Ojjeh and group chairman Ron Dennis – in order to buy that year's championship winning team, Brawn. The team was renamed Mercedes, but it has been outperformed by McLaren and not won a race this season.

Mercedes' direct spending on McLaren is believed to have been largely the purchase of branding on the team's cars. The team's budget is now covered almost entirely by prize money and sponsorship.

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