Olympics £2bn target on track

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The Independent Online

London 2012 organisers are on target to avoid any bail-out by the taxpayer for the running of next year's Olympics and Paralympics, according to the organising committee's annual report.

Organisers are ahead of schedule in generating a revenue target of £2billion, says the report, and today surpassed the upper mark they had set of raising £700million from domestic sponsors.



Meanwhile, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton is to donate the £220,000 he has earned in performance and loyalty bonuses in the last year to charity, as he did in 2010.



Apart from income from domestic sponsors, London 2012 already raised £226m from corporate hospitality tickets, expects £86m from merchandise sales, and receives around £600m from the International Olympic Committee for international sponsors and television rights.



The huge demand for tickets from the public should also mean that organisers will hit their target of revenue from tickets.



The annual report states: "Despite the current economic climate, the company is ahead of schedule in generating its revenue target of circa £2bn."



Expenditure last year was £209m, bringing the total operating expenditure since London won the bid in 2005 to £491m, less than a quarter of the £2bn overall budget.



"We continue to be focused on controlling expenditure in order to deliver the greatest show on earth within the bounds of available revenue," the report adds.



Deighton's basic salary was £479,873 - there was no increase on the previous year - while London 2012 chairman Lord Coe earned £357,000, also no increase.



Westfield, the shopping centre developer, today became London 2012's 44th domestic sponsor with the deal seeing the organiser surpass their target of £700m.



The £700m mark was London 2012's upper target - organisers originally set a target of between £650m and £700m.



Coe said: "It was a stretch target and made no easier by the economic problems.



"Those companies that have come to the table have brought so much more than just the money - they have smart, creative people many now seconded to our own organisation who are making a huge contribution beyond simply the funding."



Westfield's development at Stratford City is right next to the Olympic Park and it is estimated that 75% of spectators will pass through it on their way into the Park during the Olympics and Paralympics.



As part of the sponsorship deal Westfield will have the first Team GB and ParalympicsGB merchandise shop which will open later this month.



The development will also host Team GB and ParalympicsGB throughout the Games in an eighth-floor venue overlooking the Olympic Park.

PA

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