FC Internazionale Shareholders' Meeting

Inter Shareholder's meeting, Alessandro Antonello speech



Club

Oct 26th 2023

11 MIN READING

Good morning everyone and welcome along to our annual shareholders’ meeting.

As you know, the purpose of this event is to approve the financial year which ended on 30 June 2023, which included further significant decrease in terms of losses, achieved thanks to consistent increase in revenue in our core business along with further decreases to our production costs.

Thanks to the efforts of every area of the business and with the majority shareholder supporting the club’s ambitions, we continue to pursue our aim of creating a winning formula between competitiveness on the pitch at the highest level, the essence of our core business, allied to economic and financial sustainability.

Last season highlighted how these two aspects, what occurs on the pitch and what goes on off it, are inextricably linked and how they both contribute to the healthy development of our sport.

THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SITUATION

The current global socio-economic situation remains uncertain and unstable due to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East and international tension throughout the world.

The general economic situation is in the midst of a recession, characterised by a drop in inflation, an increase in interest rates and by frequent downturns at macroeconomic level.

Amid slow economic recovery in the entire sector after years of restrictions brought on by the pandemic, the situation therefore remains difficult. European football is becoming increasingly polarised, with the Premier League increasingly far ahead of the other main European leagues in terms of financial value.

The English clubs’ financially superiority appears set to continue, as evidenced by the latest round of television rights, which saw the Premier League further increase its overall broadcast revenue. Conversely, the other domestic leagues have encountered issues when negotiating new contracts with broadcasters. As you know, this week Serie A finalised the TV rights for 2024-2029, licensing the league to two domestic broadcasters, Sky and DAZN, for a similar amount to the previous cycle, ensuring stability in the domestic game for the coming years.

It is therefore naturally important that we continue to participate and make progress in international competition. Thanks in part to the advent of new formats both from UEFA in terms of the Champions League and FIFA with the Club World Cup, the proceeds distributed to member clubs and tournament participants are constantly on the increase and constitute a vital asset.

In recent months a new player has entered the fray which is having a direct impact on the entire game: the Saudi Pro League is essentially a new, significant competitor that European leagues will have to keep an eye on.

RESULTS OF THE 2022/23 FINANCIAL YEAR

Now we come to the results Inter obtained last season.

In the 2022/23 financial year the group generated revenue of €425.5 million with a loss of €85.4 million, down €55 million on the €140.1 million loss recorded in the 2021/22 season.

This result was achieved thanks to two factors, namely:

Increasing revenue by around €60 million not including player trading, due in a large part to matchday income and greater broadcast revenue - both of which thanks to the club’s progress in several competitions.

Containing operating costs, which decreased from €528 million to €465.5 million. Specifically, our transfer dealings in the summer of 2022 allowed us to bring down the overall wage bill.

As for our Settlement Agreement with UEFA, while our financial results for the 2022/23 balance sheet still need to be assessed by the relevant UEFA committee, the club believes it has respected the parameters established in the agreement and rules out the prospect of economic or sporting sanctions relative to the previous season.

RESULTS OF THE 2022/23 FINANCIAL YEAR

Now we look closely at some of the highlights of our corporate activities last season.

First I would like to stress how important it was for the club to sign a new contract with technical sponsor Nike, an Inter partner since 1998 who will be until the 30th anniversary of this partnership in 2028.

At the end of the season we agreed a partnership with global entertainment giant Paramount+, which has been maintained this season as a shirt sponsor. Our kit also now features U-Power as our Back-of-Jersey Partner.

Thanks to our partnerships with Leo Vegas and Konami, the club has been able to maximise the value of an important asset in the shape of the training kit, while Konami have also purchased the naming rights to our youth academy training ground.

The significance of these sponsorship agreements can also be seen thanks to the improvement in the rating of the bond we issued in 2022: ratings agency S&P revised its outlook upgrading the bond from “negative” to “stable” and keeping it rated as “B” and this was all due to the value of the partnership agreements linked to the Nerazzurri brand.

Matchday revenue also contributed significantly to the increase in turnover last season in the first campaign without games being played behind closed doors since 2020, a season which saw the club reach the Champions League final. Thanks to the support of our fans, who once again established Inter as Italy’s highest cumulative attendance and among the best clubs in Europe, stadium gate receipts exceeded €80 million, an all-time club record. The Champions League derby was also Inter’s most lucrative match ever (€12.5 million). Season tickets again sold out in double quick time.

Our own Inter Media House consolidated its success with the Nerazzurri community in 2022/23, with an increase of 10 million fans compared with the previous season and a total of 64 million supporters throughout the world. Last season IMH produced 55,000 pieces of content (+29%) distributed via 24 channels, generating a total of 5.4 billion impressions. Furthermore, thanks to the launch of our new digital ecosystem in July 2022, users of our website increased 136% to a total of 6.3 million, accounting for 29 million total page views. Finally, we should also highlight the incredible number of total video views (1.5 billion, a 165% increase).

These results confirm the club’s continued desire to develop its brand through innovation, digitalisation and entertainment. We are well aware of the fact that our audience is increasingly diverse, international and young, and used to watching sport and living life in a new way. That does not however mean we should neglect to entertain our most traditional supporters, our Italian fanbase.

2023/24 SEASON GOALS

Now let’s look at the targets for the current season. In short, Inter have three main objectives on the corporate side:

continue the club’s move towards economic and financial stability, respecting the parameters of the UEFA Settlement Agreement;

with this in mind, it will be crucial to consolidate and increase operating revenues;

the most important mid-to-long-term goal, crucial when it comes to achieving the previous two, is the construction of a new stadium owned by Inter.

UEFA Settlement Agreement

As you know, on 23 August 2022, a Settlement Agreement was agreed between the F.C. Internazionale Milano Group and UEFA. The agreement runs from 2022 until the 2026/27 campaign and the main parameter is “Football Earnings”, that is, the operating result from the club’s financial statement adjusted for certain factors (e.g. cost of the youth academy, women’s football etc).

As mentioned a few minutes ago, with regards to the balance sheet subject to your approval today we do not foresee any sanctions from UEFA, and although we are still waiting, all signs seem to point in this direction. Furthermore, as things stand, we do not expect future financial years to involve amounts to be made payable to UEFA.

Each of the club’s corporate activities predominantly aims to contribute to consolidating Inter’s financial sustainability in order to maintain the highest possible level of competitiveness on the pitch.

Operating revenues

We are in the midst of a difficult climate but it is also full of potential. As the president recalled, our sport is at the centre of attention for new, significant markets and these could be a major asset to tap into when it comes to Inter pursuing new commercial agreements. The advent of the new 2025 Club World Cup in the United States makes that country one of real interest, just as the countries of the Arabian Peninsula will be, given their activity in the sector.

The club is already working to maximise the value of next season’s shirt with either the name of a key player in the world of global entertainment like Paramount+ or via a new partner.

We will continue to position the Inter brand internationally and a crucial step in that direction was the summer tour in Japan. Inter is synonymous with excellence and our brand has partnered up with some huge names like Daniel Arsham, who has joined us and our partner Moncler this year for the official club suits, as you will see from this weekend onwards at the stadium. There is no let-up in the process to turn Inter from an iconic sporting brand into a cultural and lifestyle icon.

Stadium Project

The most important project for the mid-to-long term future of our club is building a new stadium owned by Inter.

STADIUM PROJECT

First of all, an update on the status of the new San Siro project. Beginning four years ago with the submission of the “Technical and economic feasibility study to redevelop the San Siro area”, which was subject to numerous updates to meet the conditions imposed by the administration, the project is currently on standby, while we wait for further official action from the Municipality of Milan that would provide the club with guarantees as to the direction to take. We are pleased to hear of their willingness to listen to the clubs’ views, and the city council’s decision to appeal to the administrative regional court regarding the historical restrictions on San Siro – a move which has been backed by minister for sport Andrea Abodi. Despite that, after more than four years of waiting, we need to have clear guarantees over the exact timeframe and some clarification over the possibility of a referendum.

With regards to the comments about the prospect of refurbishing San Siro should only one of the two clubs stay, Inter’s position is that the club is open to building a new stadium in the district along with the repurposing of San Siro in respect of the possible restriction the authorities might place on the ground. However, we believe it is inconceivable to refurbish the current facility with the aim of keeping it as a stadium, as we have stressed several times in recent years.

We have worked hard over the last few years to remain in San Siro with a project to regenerate the entire neighbourhood but time is currently the crucial factor. And our current focus is on plans to build a new stadium in the Rozzano neighbourhood.

Update on Rozzano

With regards to the project in Rozzano, for which the club has already signed an exclusive agreement with Infrafin valid until April 2024, the latest developments with the local administration are that on 5 October the Rozzano town council approved an amendment to the local land-use plan to include the new stadium. Now we are waiting for the amendment to be formally approved, while we are already in discussions with the administration to identify their needs, particularly with regards to accessibility. The next target would be to purchase the area that we already have first refusal on.

We plan to submit our plans by April 2024, so that we can receive the green light within 18 months, break ground and have the stadium ready in time for the 2028/29 season.

What you are looking at is a prospectus of what we are working on with the firm Populous, the same that devised the concept of the “Cattedrale”. The area would see the creation of a 70,000-seat stadium, studied to provide the utmost comfort and the greatest possible excitement for the fans, as well as being accessible to all.

Outside the stadium there would be a very safe area that could be used 365 days a year, featuring a sports village and facilities for supporters and anyone visiting the area, as well as the park surrounding it. The stadium area would also include buildings the club could use and specific facilities for fans like a museum and club store.

Building a new club-owned stadium is an essential asset to bridge the gap between us and the leading European clubs. Inter’s stadium revenue is currently less than half that of the top European sides. Our club needs a new, modern, accessible, sustainable stadium that guarantees a high-level stadium experience.

Finally, allow me to join Beppe in thanking president Steven Zhang and the owners for the constant support they have given us since 2016, which has been crucial to continue growing our club.

I would also like to thank all of you. We feel your passion day in, day out and above all on matchday. We work on a daily basis for the future of our Inter and the support you provide our club and its activities is hugely motivating in terms of pressing ahead with our ambition.

I thank you for listening and now I would like to give the floor to the chair for the next items on the agenda.

FC Internazionale Milano SPA Shareholders' meeting approves financial results for 2022/2023

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