The financial results for 2018 have been welcomed by the FEI ©John Kyle/Twitter

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has reported a small net surplus of CHF724,148 (£617,000/$746,000/€666,000) for 2018, which was a World Equestrian Games (WEG) year.

The figure compares with a surplus of CHF2.45 million (£2.1 million/$2.5 million/€2.25 million) the previous year.

The deterioration was explained largely by financial items, such as the body’s portfolio result and foreign exchange-related factors.

In 2018, these resulted in a CHF3 million (£2.56 million/$3.1 million/€2.75 million) net financial loss, which compared with a CHF1.5 million (£1.28 million/$1.55 million/€1.4 million) profit the previous year.

Revenues in 2018 comfortably outstripped expenses, at CHF62.6 million (£53.3 million/$64.5 million/€57.5 million), versus CHF58.8 million (£50 million/$60.6 million/€54 million).

Sponsorship revenue was well up, at CHF27.8 million (£23.7 million/$28.6 million/€25.5 million), compared with CHF19.3 million (£16.4 million/$20 million/€17.7 million) in 2017.

However, broadcast revenue was little-changed at CHF3.5 million (£3 million/$3.6 million/€3.2 million), against CHF3.4 million (£2.9 million/$3.5 million/€3.1 million).

The World Equestrian Games continues to boost the sport's profile ©Getty Images
The World Equestrian Games continues to boost the sport's profile ©Getty Images

On the expense side, sponsorship expense reached CHF21.5 million (£18.3 million/$22 million/€19.7 million), up from CHF14.9 million (£12.7 million/$15 million/€13.7 million), with broadcast expense rising to CHF5.1 million (£4.3 million/$5.25 million/€4.7 million) from CHF4.5 million (£3.8 million/$4.6 million/€4.1 million).

Staff charges were just under CHF14 million (£11.9 million/$14.4 million/€12.9 million).

The revenue side was boosted by CHF4.2 million (£3.6 million/$4.3 million/€3.9 million) of released provisions – a figure that compared to CHF1.8 million (£1.5 million/$1.85 million/€1.65 million) in 2017.

Notes to the accounts indicate that the released provision was entirely related to WEG; the impact was largely offset by CHF3.15 million (£2.7 million/$3.3 million/€2.9 million) of WEG-related costs included in "other expenses" in the 2018 income and expenditure statement.

The balance sheet remains solid, with total assets of CHF64.6 million (£55 million/$66.5 million/€59.4 million).

The FEI’s imposing headquarters building in central Lausanne, donated to the organisation by Honorary President Princess Haya, appears, moreover, to be in the balance sheet at just CHF1.

Ingmar De Vos, President, who was re-elected during 2018, acknowledged in his annual report message in the annual report that the size and scope of the WEG "have become so big that we did have to contend with challenges".

He added: "Let’s not forget there was also a hurricane, but the sport was truly memorable."

The event, in Tryon, North Carolina, was said to have been preceded by the largest-ever commercial airlift of horses.

De Vos told insidethegames in an interview in late 2018 that the FEI wanted to make a "thorough evaluation" of the future of the WEG, and that "everything is possible".