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Thursday November 14, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The UK's oldest ski club has made a loss of more than £840,000. Its holidays, leading service and instructor-led guiding all under-performed.


The figures are revealed in the Ski Club of GB's Annual Report and Accounts sent to members ahead of the AGM today (Thursday).

In the previous financial year the Club made a profit of almost £92,000.

The year before that its profit was in excess of £1.5 million.

It's a big blow for the Club's new Chief Executive Ian Holt, who took over the management reins in July after seven years on the Club Council, the last two as Treasurer.

In an email to members he says he was shocked to discover the state of the Club's finances, which emerged as recently as August and September.

In the Annual Report the Chairman, Malcolm Bentley, describes the current situation as ‘very unsatisfactory'.

"This is largely due to a combination of difficult market conditions across all our main sources of income such that they under-performed, over-ambitious budgeting and restructuring costs," he states.

The Club is to take £1.25 million from its investment reserves in an attempt to ensure a budget surplus next year.

SCGB Annual report & accountsA 'very unsatisfactory' situation

















So what's gone wrong?

A look at the figures shows:

  • Freshtracks holidays made a loss of £200,505.
  • The leading service and instructor-led guiding made a loss of £207,438
  • The magazine, Ski & Board, lost £144,850
  • Advertising and partnership made a loss of £146,638
Ski & Board SCGB magazineLosing money








The Club has also taken the decision to write off in full a £342,746 investment in its website.

It says it has yet to decide whether to go ahead with a new website and, if so, when.

It brings the total annual loss for 2018-19 to £841,589.

Skiing with a Ski Club of GB leaderSkiing with a Ski Club GB leader - photo Melody Sky













"The Council and management are determined that such a major deficit should not be repeated and that we will also very actively pursue our strategic goals," Malcolm Bentley says.

"The budget for the current year has been re-worked rigorously in light of last year's results to produce a credible plan that should yield a surplus and at the same time allow for new initiatives, for example in membership, events and holidays and a particular focus on young people."

The Club says the most important shortfall was in the margins on its Freshtracks Holidays which it had not expected.

Higher supplier costs compounded by the weakness of Sterling, lower occupancy and group numbers all contributed to the shortfall.

Ski Club of GB Freshtracks ski touring holidaySki touring on a Ski Club GB Freshtracks holiday














The Club's North America holidays failed to sell and - as was the case across the industry - there was a drop off in late season bookings as the original Brexit date of 31st March approached.

It's the latest in a series of setbacks for the Ski Club of GB.

In April its CEO Darren Neylon resigned after little more than a year in post.

In July it disappointed many of its members when it announced that, on legal advice, it was scrapping its service whereby Club reps would lead groups of members around the slopes.

The latest financial picture is another blow to a Club with ambitious aims, including doubling its members by November 2021.

The latest statistics in the 2019 annual report show that membership continues to fall year on year.

In 2019 there are 24,776 members.

In 2018 there were 26,692.

In 2017 there were 27,789.

Ski Club GB sign at The White HausAll downhill or will the Ski Club GB bounce back in 2020?
















There's been a lot of reaction to the news over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

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