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Super Rugby
Crusaders happy to break even
December 12, 2013
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder stands alongside Richie McCaw, Crusaders v Reds, Super Rugby, AMI Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, July 20, 2013
The Crusaders hope to enjoy better results on and off the field in 2014 © Getty Images
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The Crusaders described as "satisfactory" their break-even first year under the new commercial partnership running the Super Rugby franchise.

The financial result was foreshadowed in August, after the Crusaders lost their Super Rugby semi-final to eventual champions the Chiefs, and Crusaders Ltd Partnership chairman Murray Ellis said there had been a lot of work behind the scenes to establish the new operation.

"All things considered, we are satisfied that we have achieved an essentially break-even in our first year with a negligible operating surplus of $296," Ellis said.

Sponsorship revenue grew by 21% in 2013, but match attendances dropped 9%. Overall revenue increased 2.8%, but costs rose 4.3% as the new operation was established.

Ellis said the partnership was already helping the Crusaders to achieve financial stability and commercial opportunities. He said they were looking forward to better results on and off the field in 2014.

The partnership, owned by the Crusaders' six provincial unions, won the licence to run the Crusaders as part of the New Zealand Rugby Union's move for New Zealand franchises to operate under a more sustainable commercial model.

The Crusaders reported a profit of $174,294 in 2012 after a loss of almost $700,000 in 2011, when they played their home matches away from earthquake-devastated Christchurch.

© AAP

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