Third year of profit

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

The Deni Play on the Plains Festival Limited generated a profit in excess of $650,000 for the 12 months to the end of 2018.

The impressive financial result was revealed at the company’s annual general meeting in Deniliquin last week.

The financial summary has the 2018 operating profit listed as $656,240.

It is the third successive operational profit, and an improvement on the 2017 year by about $130,000 where a profit of $518,065 was recorded.

It’s a significant turnaround since a startling loss of more than half a million dollars in the 2014 year, and the $355,507 loss in 2015.

General manager Vicky Lowry said a big contribution to the 2018 result was $273,000 of in-kind donations.

‘‘The value of in-kind donations from the community shows the support and commitment generously provided,’’ she said.

‘‘It is this local support that helps to keep the Deni Ute Muster profitable.

‘‘There are many other attributing factors to the 2018 profit, including careful and accurate budgeting, the choice of artists and entertainment, sponsors, government, emergency services, volunteers, patrons, weather, strategic planning and marketing.

‘‘2018 was a very successful year, which can be attributed to the hard work of the staff and board and continued support of the local community, volunteers and sponsors.

‘‘We are all very proud to announce a profit of $656,240. With this announcement we must not be complacent as from 2016 to 2018 we have been playing catch up financially, after previous significant financial losses.’’

Treasurer John Mulham highlighted, in his report to the AGM, that “running the Muster is a cash-hungry process’’.

‘‘If we as a company wish to improve and add to our assets, in order to advance the event, we need to continue to generate significant cash surpluses,’’ he said in his report.

‘‘It is difficult to extract cash flow from funds invested in infrastructure, no matter how important the expenditure may be.’’

Mrs Lowry said the profit, paired with $600,000 in NSW Office of Local Government grant funding, means plans to build a new Muster HQ at the festival site are ‘‘a step closer’’.

‘‘One of the biggest plans for 2019 is the commencement of stage one of the new office building on site, to be funded by the Office of Local Government,’’ she said.

‘‘Funding will be sought for stage two to complete a fitout and landscaping to create a new tourist attraction for Deniliquin leveraging of the Deni Ute Muster.’’

Last week’s AGM also included a director election, but the board remains unchanged in 2019.

Paul Marshall and John Mulham each re-nominated at the end of their terms, and were both re-elected unopposed.

Also on the volunteer board are Russell Tait, Daphne Tyndall, Robert Hallum and Kathy Simpson.

Earlier this week, at the first director meeting since the AGM, Mr Tait was returned as chair. Also continuing in executive roles are deputy chair Mrs Tyndall and Mr Mulham as treasurer.