Another year done and dusted and 2014 was indeed a year of two halves. The figures recorded in the first half of 2014 displayed our struggle with some aggressive competition. However a strong come back in the second half of the year ended in a better than expected result, recording a net profit before tax of $705,000. While this figure is down on the previous year the upturn seen in the second half of 2014 has continued into 2015. Membership numbers hit an all time high in 2014 reaching 34,963 up from 33,819 in the previous year.
Our catering areas are performing well with Star Buffet turning over an average of 4,000 covers per week and Maze Catering doing strong numbers in the Café and Function departments. There is no doubt the variety, quality and service of our catering contractors has increased membership, visitation and revenue significantly.
Being one of the few venues offering free entertainment in the area our live bands across the entire weekend prove very popular to both local and out of area visitors. With a huge variety of live bands on offer and ranging from Rock & Roll, Jazz, Country and Party bands we have something to suit everyone.
The extended trading hours of 3:00am close throughout the week and 6:00am on weekends has also proved to be popular with many members and guests enjoying the extra time. Hot food and premium coffee is available throughout the extended hours of the Club.
Penrith RSL is mindful of its green footprint on the community and is proud of the installation of a massive solar system consisting of 800 panels or 200KW, making it the largest install in the club industry. This system is environmentally friendly and along with the introduction of a structured Business Management System (BMS) which schedules power usage throughout the club such as air conditioning timing and levels, our overall power usage and costs will be reduced significantly.
Our Club is committed to offering a friendly and safe venue and our responsible service of alcohol has resulted in a year with no incidents. The service of alcohol must be treated in a sensible and proper manner. Our Executive Manager of Operations, Brian Bellomo as Chair of the Penrith St Marys Liquor Accord works closely with local police to set suitable standards for entry and attendance in the Club. We actively practice a no tolerance attitude towards bad behavior, intoxication and unacceptable dress. These standards have set the scene for the warm environment of our Club.
Our commitment to the community and local youth continued in 2014 by again sponsoring 3 young students to undertake the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge and 21 students to engage in the Max Potential Program. Both these programs are designed to develop our local youth into future leaders.
As a venue we offer exceptional facilities, food and entertainment however we never lose sight of our vision of the RSL movement. Penrith RSL has committed to supporting the Homes for Heroes program which supports younger veterans returning from current conflicts overseas and struggling to settle back into mainstream life. We are very proud to work with Lifecare, RSL & Services Clubs Association and Home for Heroes on this project.
To grow our business further, it is apparent that we need to start growing the site beyond the current footprint and start to develop the underutilized land around the club. I mentioned a year ago that the club has engaged the services of a professional town planner and an architect to assist with a Master Plan to look at the current and long term development plans. The Master Plan is almost complete and will be presented to the members at the AGM. The Master Plan will show the future of the club.
The Board have a difficult role to ensure they are making the right decisions aligned to the
Strategic Plan. We rely on a Board of Directors who are resolute in their commitment to the benefit of members. I wish to thank them for their work ethic, their experience and their counsel. Chairman Neville Barnier and the Board provide valuable administration support year after year.
I also thank Executive Manager Operations Brian Bellomo, Executive Manager Corporate Services Frank Raiti and Executive Manager HR Karen Harrison for their outstanding contribution. To the frontline staff and floor management team, thank you for delivering our services every day across the year. You facilitate occasions of all types for our members, you meet challenges on a daily basis which you overcome to ensure that our members have the best possible experience in their Club – it does not go unnoticed.
On this note I would like to congratulate our 2014 Employee of the Year, Felicia Clark who is a well deserved recipient of this prestigious award.
Finally I would like to thank you, our members. We appreciate your loyalty and support of the Club and I enjoy catching up with you around the Club. See you soon.