Still on the road to recovery

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1 GOLF ADVISORY PRACTICE IN EMA Still on the road to recovery Golf course performances in EMA in 2010 golfbenchmark.com

2 Dear Reader, When the economic crisis unfolded in fall 2008, many expected a recovery in the economy by the end of In fact, when KPMG s Golf Advisory Practice conducted a survey among golf course managers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) in the fall of 2009, approximately of the respondents forecasted a return to pre-crisis performance by the second half of So, where is the golf market now on the road to recovery? Our recently published report,golf Participation in Europe 2010 showed decreasing demand for the game in several countries in Europe and, above all, in its largest and oldest golf market, Great Britain and Ireland. We can presume that decreasing participation in the game is leading not only to fewer club members but also to reduced rounds played and revenues achieved. To find out more about the status of golf in different regions, we produced a questionnaire-based survey in January 2011 regarding the performance of golf facilities in 2010 and their future outlook. Over 350 golf course owners and operators have participated in the survey from Europe, Middle East and Africa. Among the notable findings are: In 2010, almost half of all golf facilities reported a drop in the number of rounds played (43%) and, as a result, revenues (44%) Less than half of all golf courses were profitable in 2010 (49%) and a quarter made an operating loss Great Britain and Ireland performed poorly, while courses in Central Europe and the Middle East and North Africa fared well 65% of courses have cut costs 45% have cut staff Nearly a fifth of all courses () have reduced or removed joining fees 1 in 12 golf course owners are considering selling their facility. Golf courses were active in 2010 cutting costs, including staff and maintenance budgets, as well as changing pricing and marketing strategies. For some, this will have improved their performance or mitigated the ongoing effects of the economic downturn. However, it is clear from the number of loss-making golf facilities that market forces continue to impact on the performance of golf courses. The enclosed analysis summerizes the findings of our survey. Please do not hesitate to contact KPMG s Golf Advisory Practice at with any questions or queries you may have. To download our other market intelligence studies, please visit golfbenchmark.com. I would like to express my special thanks to all golf course owners and operators who contributed to this report. Yours sincerely, Andrea Sartori Partner, KPMG Advisory Ltd. Head of Golf Advisory Practice in Europe, Middle East and Africa E:

3 Still on the road to recovery 3 Business performance of golf facilities in 2010 Growth tendencies of rounds and revenues 2010/2009 4% 5% 8 16% % 7% 7% Rounds Revenues increase by or more increase by 10- increase by less than stagnation decrease by less than decrease by 10- decrease by or more According to our survey, facilities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region outperformed other markets in 2010, with not a single golf course manager reporting poor results. Taking into account that the pre-crisis performance of many facilities in the MENA region was above those in other areas of EMA, we can presume that average or good performance of some of these facilities would have been considered excellent in many other locations. In EMA s largest golf market, Great Britain and Ireland (GBI), less than half of golf courses reported good or excellent results in 2010, while 17% declared poor or very poor performances. The worst results were reported by courses in Eastern Europe (EE), which is even more worrying considering these were the weakest performers in EMA even in pre-crisis times, with a profit rate of less than compared to total revenues. Rating of business performance in % 11% 5% 7% 4% 13% 8% 7% 8 29% 29% 23% 4 41% 37% 7 37% 32% 73% 38% 42% 4 38% 39% 41% 43% 23% 25% 9% 11% 14% 16% 2% 2% 8% 1% MENA NE SA GBI CE Benelux WE & EE Average SEM EMA Note: Please check the Methodology on page 7 for abbreviations and regional groupings. Excellent Good Average Poor Very poor Rounds and revenues have increased at approximately one-third of all golf courses in EMA, but decreased at over 4, with more than a fifth reporting a decline of at least. On the other hand, costs have increased at 42% of facilities and only a third managed to effectively decrease expenses. Meanwhile, only 7% of all respondents demonstrated an efficient business model displaying increasing revenues and decreasing costs, and experienced a revenue drop in spite of increased costs. Overall performance of golf facilities in EMA (2010/2009) % 31% 42% 25% 43% 44% 33% 33% Rounds Revenues Members Costs Increased Stayed the same Decreased

4 4 Golf Benchmark The source of industry knowledge Capital investment in 2010 Despite the continuing unfavorable economic situation, more than half of respondents have made capital investments. Golf courses in the Middle East and North Africa region were most active with more than 8 of respondents investing in their facilities. Capital investment made at golf courses in 2010 MENA 82% Benelux 64% EE 62% 38% CE 62% 38% NE 4 GBI 57% 43% SA 53% 47% WE & SEM 45% 55% Average EMA 57% 43% Yes Changes in pricing Green fee Annual due Joining fee 5% 6% 14% 32% 4 Increased Decreased Note: The rest of courses maintained the same pricing as in No Cost cutting measures specified 46% Staff costs 45% Golf Course Maintenance Operating Supplies and Equipment Clubhouse Maintenance 29% Marketing 22% 4 As the following chart demonstrates, less than half of all golf courses enjoyed a profitable business year in 2010, while a quarter reported an operating loss. Courses in Central Europe (CE) and Benelux have experienced a relatively quick recovery, with nearly two-thirds of all courses having managed to make profits in 2010 while only 8% were loss-making. In GBI, of courses made an operating loss. Profitability of golf courses by region (2010) 25% 8 44% 4 49% 7 61% 56% 55% 42% 4 24% 31% 32% 41% 24% 26% 33% 24% 8% 8% Benelux CE GBI MENA SA NE WE & EE Average SEM EMA Profitable Break even Loss making Measures taken to increase profitability The majority of golf course managers have taken one or a combination of measures in order to increase profitability. Three-quarters have changed their pricing, two-thirds have introduced cost cutting, and over 4 have changed their PR and marketing strategies. Measures taken in 2010 to increase profitability Changes in pricing 75% Cost cutting measures 65% Changes in PR and marketing 41% No specific measures 6% 4 8 In terms of changes in pricing, 46% of courses have increased their annual dues, usually by 5-, and nearly a third have increased their green fees, similarly by 5-. However, joining fees were typically reduced, often significantly (by or more). About 5% of facilities have cancelled their joining fee completely with the hope of attracting new members. Close to two-thirds of facilities that have cut costs have reduced staff costs, by 5-. About a third of all courses have cut costs related to operating supplies and equipment (examples of this were a reduction in pro-shop stock and in food and beverage supplies). Approximately one third of all respondents reduced course and clubhouse maintenance costs by 5-. A fifth of facilities have also reduced marketing expenditure, typically to half of the previous budget, as part of their cost cutting strategy. Many golf courses have realized the need to keep up with the recent evolution in online media and social marketing. As such, several golf course managers have shifted their attention to e-marketing, and have focused more on direct marketing to existing members (for example, via targeted newsletters etc). Many have introduced a more aggressive marketing strategy, promoting special offers and packages.

5 Still on the road to recovery 5 Considering selling facility Yes 8% No 92% Future outlook According to our survey, 58% of course owners expect an improved year in 2011, but only foresee significantly better business results. That said, one in 10 facility owners are sufficiently pessimistic to anticipate a worse performance than in It is somehow astonishing that 8% of the survey respondents are actually considering selling their facility. While in Eastern Europe (EE) courses can only expect better years to come, it was interesting to note that facility owners in GBI are the most pessimistic about their short-term future; only 44% are expecting better results in 2011 with actually forecasting a worse performance level. Expected business performance in 2011 compared to % 9% 3% Much better 8 Slightly better 7 57% Similar 61% 48% 59% 57% 54% 47% Slightly worse Much worse 4 45% 41% 19% 31% 26% 31% 31% 9% 6% 16% 13% 6% 2% 5% 7% 2% 1% MENA EE WE & NE SA CE Benelux GBI Average SEM EMA More than half of courses in GBI do not expect to reach the same performance level as before the economic crisis until Courses in South Africa (SA) and Western and South-East Mediterranean Europe (WE&SEM) are similarly pessimistic, while in Central Europe two-thirds of all courses have already recovered or are expecting to do so during Expect to reach same performance level as pre-crisis 16% 12% 11% 33% 29% 23% 22% 7% % 11% 26% 24% 47% 45% 24% 4 11% 47% 16% 13% 31% 7% 22% 24% 11% 7% 3% CE NE Benelux EE MENA WE & GBI SA SEM 22% 12% Average EMA Already During 2011 During 2012 During 2013 After 2013

6 6 Golf Benchmark The source of industry knowledge Conclusion Undeniably, the effects of the economic downturn remain evident in the business performance of golf courses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Reduced rounds and revenues during 2010 have had a clear impact on the profitability of golf facilities, despite widespread cost cutting and price adjustments, especially in relation to joining fees. However, there are some positive signs and the performance of courses in both Central Europe, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, lead the way. Germany s broader economic strength is reflected in the results from courses in Central Europe, while Middle East and North Africa courses maintain a high level of performance (as highlighted in previous Golf Benchmark Surveys). Development of new golf courses in this region, aligned to resorts and residential communities, continue apace, although the long-term impact of political events in North Africa is not yet known. Europe s largest golf market, Great Britain & Ireland, remains of concern. Not only is business performance poor, golf course owners are pessimistic about recovery with almost a third fearing business will return to pre-downturn levels only after Golf courses in Eastern Europe also appear fragile with only 25% recording an operating profit in Across the EMA region as a whole, 8% of course owners say they are considering selling their facility. While it still remains questionable what 2011 will bring to the global golf market, we hope that the strategic approach of more and more golf course owners and managers will contribute to a more successful business year, and that improved market conditions will allow for higher performance levels. For more golf business research and reports, please visit:

7 Still on the road to recovery 7 Methodology Distribution of golf courses by size 12% 61% 9-hole 18-hole 27-hole+ More than a third of the 350 survey respondents are located in Great Britain and Ireland, the EMA s largest golf market. The majority (61%) of survey participants are 18-hole facilities, 12% are 9-hole golf courses and are 27-hole or larger. Sixty-four percent of the surveyed golf courses are stand-alone facilities, while are part of a tourist resort and/or a residential community. Some of the survey findings should be considered as indicative only due to the sample size. by type of facility 64% Tourist resorts and residential communities Stand-alone golf courses Participating countries by geographic region Region Great Britain & Ireland (GBI) Western and South-East Mediterranean Europe (WE) Northern Europe (NE) Participating countries Great Britain, Ireland Croatia, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden Central Europe (CE) South Africa (SA) Benelux (BNL) Eastern Europe (EE) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Austria, Germany, Switzerland South Africa, Mauritius Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates

8 For further information please contact the Golf Benchmark Team: KPMG s Golf Advisory Practice in EMA H-1139 Budapest Váci út 99 Hungary T: E: The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. The KPMG name, logo and cutting through complexity are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International Cooperative ( KPMG International ) KPMG Tanácsadó Kft., a Hungarian limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ( KPMG International ), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in Hungary.

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