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RPS reports deficit following period of investment

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society says financial position remains ‘very strong’.

Former head office of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Lambeth High Street, London

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The RPS premises in Lambeth were sold for £15.4m in 2013

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) recorded a net loss of £1m in 2014 following a rise in costs attributed to investment in staff and product development.

Overall expenditure by the RPS in the calendar year 2014 rose by almost £2m while income increased by only £913,000. The 2014 loss was higher than the budgeted deficit of £849,000.

The Society had a temporary net current liability by the end of 2014, following ongoing costs resulting from the purchase and refurbishment of its new premises at 66 East Smithfield. Net current assets will be restored in the 2015 financial statement once the £15.4m sale of the 1 Lambeth High Street premises goes ahead, the RPS said.

The RPS insists its financial position remains “very strong” and will improve further once the building sale goes ahead. Total funds held by the Society, excluding the pension scheme, stand at £13.8m, which is around £1m lower than 2013.

Simon Redman, RPS director of finance and resources, says: “The RPS is part-way through its strategy of enhancing and growing the range of products and services for its members and customers of its publishing portfolio.

“Our plans showed that in the short-term this would result in a loss for 2014, but this was necessary in order to secure the future of the organisation. We are beginning to bear the fruits of these planned developments, and as a result we are well positioned to return to profitability within the next few years.”

Investment in products

The Society’s financial performance was outlined as part of the Annual Review 2014.

Costs from the professional activities of the Society climbed by £898,000 as income fell by £131,000. The RPS invested £421,000 in staff learning, development, training and recruitment, while a further £480,000 was spent on member services including the Foundation programme, local practice forum activities, development of the RPS Faculty and the membership and marketing team.

Pharmaceutical Press, which publishes The Pharmaceutical Journal, saw costs rise by £1.1m compared with 2013 on account of investment in The Pharmaceutical Journal and its website, a new MedicinesComplete platform, and sales and marketing. Revenues increased by £1m in the same period.

The Society also made capital investments of £586,000 spread over five years on new product development, including for The Pharmaceutical Journal, MedicinesComplete, British National Formulary and educational technology, in a bid to generate more revenue in the future.

Overall cash and deposits held by the RPS fell by £4.6m because of spending on new product development and the acquisition and refurbishment of the Society’s new headquarters. However, assets rose by just over £4m as a result of this investment.

Membership revenues increased by £50,000, coinciding with a 3.8% increase in paying members. The number of members stood at 46,506 on 31 December 2014, with 31,896 paying members.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068575

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  • Former head office of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Lambeth High Street, London

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