22 Sep 2021

The ITTF’s Finance and Audit Committee met on 19th July 2021, and reported on the areas of the Audited Financial Statements, Financial Management, and Risk Management. Three critical areas of focus during an ongoing global pandemic.

The Financial Statements were introduced by the ITTF CFO, followed by a presentation from the auditors, which defined the scope and planning of their work, the independence and objectivity of their work, and the effectiveness of the audit. Finally, the auditors confirmed that the financial statements adhere to the Swiss Civil Code.

Following the meeting of the Finance and Audit Committee, the EC received from the EVP of Finances, Petra Sörling, and the CFO, Michael Brown, the Audited Financial Statements, agreeing to distribute them to the ITTF Membership, for their eventual approval at the forthcoming 2021 AGM, which will be held on 24th November 2021 in Houston, USA.

“How to minimize the impact of the pandemic on business, its performance results, and most importantly our staff was for us, like all organisations and companies, our first priority at the beginning of the pandemic. Overall we should be proud of what we achieved and the strong actions taken at the beginning of the pandemic allowed for the ITTF to generate a positive financial situation.” – Petra Sörling, ITTF Executive Vice President for Finance

At first glance, the ITTF made an operational loss of USD608,401; however, when considering the cancellation of the 2020 World Table Tennis Championships, the cancellation of several international competitions, the postponement of the 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and the various other challenges the world faced during 2020, the final result should be seen as very positive, and recognises the decisive measures taken by the ITTF in the early days of the pandemic.

“In recent years we saw massive growth and we were expecting to follow that trend in 2020. When the biggest external crisis in our lifetime hit us all in the early part of the year we were brave, nimble, and quick to ensure the impact on our organisation would be as minimal as possible. Whilst many took a “wait, see and hope” approach we took a different path and made decisive decisions and sacrifices throughout the organisation on all expenses and salaries until there was clarity on the situation – which as we now know never came throughout the whole financial period. Without this approach, we would have ended in a very difficult position. We are indebted to all of those in our organisation who have sacrificed during this period to ensure this positive result.” – Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO

Taking a closer look at the Financial Statements, which saw income reduced by roughly USD8.8m – the spread of the reduction was shared across the various expense lines. Various expenses and investments were not possible during the global lockdown period of the pandemic, and any spending which was taking place was well considered. Investment into future IT platforms and other administrative tasks were focused during the lockdown period, until table tennis could return at #RESTART in late 2020, where the World Cup Champions were crowned, and the first-ever World Table Tennis event took place.

“Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, the key question I continued to ask myself was “When will the pandemic end?”, and every time I asked the question to myself, I was not able to give an answer. When overseeing a fluctuating budget, along with various forecasted scenarios made for an extremely busy year, but also rewarding in terms of the final result. However, this way of working has continued throughout 2021, and may continue into the future. The lessons learned during 2020 will continue to ensure a positive, and stable, financial future for the ITTF.” – Michael Brown, ITTF Group CFO

The 2020 Financial Statements can be found here: 2020 ITTF Financial Statements.

Disclaimer: Please note the Financial Statements are pending of the approval of the ITTF Annual General Meeting.

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