Sydney Theatre Company has released its annual report, which shows audience numbers reaching almost 400,000, tempered by large-scale investments such as touring Andrew Upton’s The Present to Broadway and producing Muriel’s Wedding the Musical resulting in an operating deficit.

The company recorded 397,830 paid attendances to STC shows in 2017, up from 382,576 in 2016, the company giving 884 performances to an average capacity of 89% across the year. Overall subscription numbers were slightly down on 2016 (though higher than 2015) while non-subscription activities were up significantly.

Despite the high audience numbers – and excluding contributions to STC’s capital appeal (which produced a surplus of $5.8 million, up from $2.3 million in 2016) – the company recorded an operating deficit of $4.2 million.

“STC ended 2017 in a stronger financial position overall,” said STC Chair Ian Narev. “Our operating deficit, whilst significant on its face, was driven by around $1.8m of timing adjustments between the 2017 and 2018 reporting periods. These included the accounting treatment of costs and revenues in relation to our production of Muriel’s Wedding; a re-allocation of subscription-related marketing expenditure; and adjustments to revenues of our ticketing operations.”

“Excluding depreciation of $1.2m, STC had a $1.2m cash loss....

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