RPS plunges into the red

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society recorded a deficit before interest and taxation of £1.209m for 2018, according to its annual financial report, published before the AGM on Wednesday (April 10). The organisation made a surplus of £272,000 in 2017.

After incorporating movements on provisions, losses on investments, interest and the tax liability for the year, the final deficit was £1.637m compared to a surplus of £428,000 in 2017.

Total revenues from operating activities were stable at £23.594m, according to the report. “The main reason for the change from the previous year was the investment projects and the success of reducing our staff turnover,” it states.

Excluding pension scheme deficit adjustments, the RPS had net assets of £31.56m (£32.414m in 2017).

“The balance sheet is stronger than in the history of the RPS through a program of good investment and has allowed us to reposition the organisation to respond to the needs of our members and customers,” the report continues.

Salaries increased by almost £1m to £9.316m and the number of employees rose from 196 to 219. Eight directors earned £100,000 a year or more.

The report lists the expenses claimed by RPS board and assembly members for 2018, with president Ash Soni claiming £52,288, English Pharmacy Board chair Sandra Gidley £32,739 and former president Martin Astbury £27,148.

Explaining the results in more detail at the AGM, finance director Simon Redman said the Society was one year into a three-year plan to return its budget into surplus and several significant development costs had been incurred in 2018, contributing to the deficit. Next year is also expected to be loss-making with the balance sheet anticipated to go back into the black in 2020.

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