The Australian Olympic Committee has recorded a deficit for 2020 ©Getty Images

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has recorded a AUD$938,000 (£524,000/$726,000/€606,000) deficit for 2020, its centenary year.

Writing in the body's annual report, John Coates, the AOC's long-serving President, ascribed this primarily to COVID-19 and the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

Revenue was down about 20 per cent, from AUD$33.1 million (£18.5 million/$25.6 million/€21.4 million) to AUD$26.6 million (£14.9 million/$20.6 million/€17.2 million).

Coates, who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president and chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, explained that the AOC had granted its sponsors "rollover relief", which "had the effect of pushing revenues into 2021 which would otherwise have been earned in 2020".

Revenues were "further impacted" when a fundraising campaign had to be scrapped due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

On the expenditure side, the national Government's jobkeeper programme assisted with staffing costs.

Coates' own salary and fees were put at AUD$535,050 (£299,000/$414,000/€345,650), down from AUD$580,000 (£324,000/$449,000/€374,700) in 2019.

The AOC President said it was "important to note that we maintain a healthy balance sheet with AUD$6.8 million (£3.8 million/$5.3 million/€4.4 million) in retained surpluses at the end of 2020".

AOC President John Coates took a reduced salary ©Getty Images
AOC President John Coates took a reduced salary ©Getty Images

These surpluses would "be available to meet the balance of expenditure for the Tokyo 2020 Games postponement to 2021".

While the net assets of the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF) took a near 12 per cent hit in the first quarter of 2020, as market turmoil triggered by the pandemic took a heavy toll on global financial investments, by the year-end equilibrium had all but been restored, with net assets down only AUD$1 million (£559,000/$774,000/€646,000) over the full year at AUD$170.4 million (£95.3 million/$131.9 million/€110.1 million).

The recovery was important for the AOC's financial planning because the distributions it receives from the Foundation are calculated at four per cent per annum of net assets at the commencement of each four-year period.

Since the calculation date for the present quadrennium fell on January 1, Coates was able to announce that "cash distribution to the AOC for the next quad will be AUD$6,819,745 (£3.8 million/$5.3 million/€4.4 million) per year compared with AUD$6,250,000 (£3.5 million/$4.8 million/€4 million) per year for the 2020 quad".

Coates underlined that since its inception, the AOF had distributed AUD$130.3 million (£72.8 million/$100.9 million/€84.2 million) to enable the AOC to send teams to the Olympic Games, run community programmes and support athletes.