For the year ended 31st March 2017, the charity generated a surplus of £175,848 after gains and losses.
Of this £151,755 is attributable to income for development purposes (second boat Thames Discoverer’s construction via grants and matched funding) and £24,093 is general operational surplus. This gave us a healthy general fund to start off the following year and enabled the charity to assign £20k to the designated development fund (DDF), money we lay aside for our future projects.
At the end of the year the DDF was showing a healthy balance of £296,356. However, over the two years 2017-2019 this will reduce considerably as we meet the costs of construction and fitting out Thames Discoverer.
While, the financial position is healthy overall, we are seeing a downward trend in several of our operating income sources of fees & charges and grants. Both are lower this year than in previous years, partly because of a fall in bookings (see the Operations report on page 7) and partly because of lower income from grants.
As our fixed costs are a high proportion of overall expenditure, this will need attention with funds reducing during the current year with the capitalisation of money spent on Thames Discoverer. In other words, we will have two valuable assets on our books, in the form of two vessels. We need to use those assets to rebuild operating income and, as intended, be more efficient with our resources. Our aim is to spread our fixed costs across two vessels without doubling expenditure and thus reduce the proportional cost of cruises and activities. This will help to keep down the real cost of the charity’s service, help maintain affordable client fees and still ensure that we continue to look forward in terms of growing our work.
For the year ended 31 March 2017 the charity was entitled to exemption from audit under Section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 and under Section 144 of Charities Act 2011.
The statements that the directors are required to make in such circumstances are attached to the Balance Sheet. Jon Blythe, a registered chartered accountant, has conducted an independent examination of the accounts and a copy of his Report is attached to the accounts.