2015 budget approved, third consecutive profit. Award for virtuous Foundations is triggered. Own revenues grow, personnel costs fall. Superintendent Giambrone: ‘Theatre increasingly healthy and with accounts in order’.

The Governing Board of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo approved the 2015 final balance sheet with a net profit of 103,240 euro and the theatre thus qualifies for the bonus share envisaged for virtuous Foundations that close three consecutive financial years in the black. The bonus consists of the distribution among the ‘virtuous’ of 5 per cent of FUS, the Single Fund for the Performing Arts. An important result for a theatre that is increasingly consolidating its accounts, winning new audiences, containing expenses and increasing its own revenue.
‘This balance,’ says Superintendent Francesco Giambrone, ‘certifies one important thing: the Massimo is now a theatre that costs less and produces more. But it is also a theatre that is working to stand on its own feet more and more.

A trend due, on the one hand, to an accurate control of costs, starting with personnel costs, and on the other hand, to the revival of the production, which has been rewarded by a significant increase in spectators and theatre occupancy, and therefore by higher own revenues”. “The Teatro Massimo under the management of Francesco Giambrone,” says Leoluca Orlando, mayor and president of the Fondazione Teatro Massimo, “confirms itself as a flagship of Palermo. Not only for the extraordinary cultural production and the equally extraordinary harmony with the city, but also because these are transformed into a new virtuous economy’.

“We are moving,” adds operations director Elisabetta Tesi, “in the wake of the recovery plan that was given the final go-ahead last January and that allows us to access an EUR 8 million loan at a subsidised rate from the Ministry of the Economy. While we are waiting shortly for the loan to be disbursed, we are strictly adhering to the parameters that are defined in the plan”.There were 114,112 spectators in 2015 (compared to 105,860 in 2014, an increase of 7.83 per cent); the average room occupancy rate was 72.5 per cent (compared to 67.9 per cent in 2014); curtain raises in the Great Hall 114 (compared to 103 in 2014).

And against the clear increase in the activities proposed by the Foundation, there was an albeit slight reduction in the personnel item, which stopped at just over EUR 19.181 million: minus EUR 609 thousand compared to 2014. Another significant increase (+15.4 per cent compared to 2014) is that of own revenues. Box office receipts recorded an overall increase of 12.3 per cent due, mainly, to a significant increase in ticket sales (24.7 per cent). The item ‘Other revenues and income’ also recorded a significant growth of 12.8 per cent. In this area, the most striking figure is for guided tours, which rose from 48,575 in 2014 to 73,331 in 2015, an increase of 51 per cent (126,917 more than in 2014).

But just as significant is the figure for income from the Theatre Café, which, although it only started its activities in March 2015, recorded revenue for the Foundation of EUR 84,682. Likewise, the figure for room rental shows an increase of 86 per cent. Finally, the figure for the Foundation’s private partners is also on the rise, with a 23 per cent increase in 2015 compared to the previous year. Figures that indicate a progressively greater commitment and growing attention of the territory’s entrepreneurial fabric towards the Foundation.

The value and costs of production do not account for significant changes with respect to 2014: the value, in fact, amounts to 28 million 667 thousand against 28 million 600 thousand in the previous year, with an increase of 67 thousand euros (+0.23 per cent) while the costs amount to 28 million 353 thousand euros against 28 million 504 in 2014, with a reduction of 150 thousand euros (-0.53 per cent) due to the aforementioned reduction in personnel costs. It should be emphasised that in 2015 no extraordinary shareholder interventions were necessary (as had occurred in the 2014 financial year due to the serious economic-financial situation noted when the new bodies took office in July 2014), confirming the progressive consolidation of management and control of expenditure and revenues. Moreover, the Foundation was able to cope with a reduction in the State’s contribution (amounting to EUR 420,300) thanks to a virtuous management behaviour that allowed it to make the most of the new financial instrument introduced by the Sicilian Region (the Furs), the activation of which led to an increase in the regional allocation compared to what had been budgeted, due to the full adherence of the Foundation’s performance to efficiency and productivity parameters. The increase in the Region’s allocation has, in fact, absorbed the reduction in FUS, neutralising the negative effects on the budget from the reduction in the State contribution.

From the management-administrative point of view, the year 2015 was also characterised by the finalisation of a series of documents and acts required by the regulations. The Regulation for the purchase of goods and services was updated, a tool that ensures that the main corporate processes are supported by codified procedures. At the same time, the supplier register was updated.