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Financial information

Cardiff University is one of the UK’s largest universities with an annual turnover in excess of £500m.

2019/20 saw the University return to an operating surplus of £14.1m, an improvement of £21m on last year’s operating deficit. After adjusting for one-off items the total surplus for 2019/20 was £31m.

The one-off items include a £55m non-cash benefit in relation to the USS Pension Scheme, as a consequence of the 2018 actuarial valuation of the scheme.  This was offset by our share of other pension schemes actuarial valuations which gave rise to one-off non-cash losses of £40m.

The overall financial performance was influenced from mid-March 2020 onwards by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only reducing particular income sources below normal expectation but also reducing spend on operating activities, although these cost reductions were partially offset by expenditure on our response to the pandemic.

While 2020/21 will be a difficult year as we address ongoing challenges, the University is in a strong financial position to weather the uncertain external climate and build on its status as an ambitious and innovative University.

Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020

Year ended 31 July 2020.

Where our money comes from

Our total income for the year 2019/20 was £569m, an increase of £31m on the previous year.

Our two main sources of income remain tuition fees, which saw an increase of £18m to £297m, and research grants, which saw  a small decrease of £3m year-on-year as a result of the COVID-19 travel, social distancing measures and working-from-home measures impacting our on-site research capability.

Funding Body grants of £78m saw an increase in our core teaching and research grant and a similar increase in capital grants towards building and equipment costs.

The remainder of our operating income saw decreases, impacted by COVID-19.

Analysis of 2019/20 income by category

Category2019/202018/19
Tuition Fees and Support Grants£297m£279m
Research Grants & Contracts£113m£116m
Funding Body Grants£78m£58m
Other Income£74m£76m
Donations, Endowments & Investment Income£7m£9m
Total Income£569m£538m

What we spend our money on

In 2019/20, we spent £555m compared to £552m the previous year, an increase of £3m.

The focus of our spending remains on teaching and research.

Our underlying staff costs in 2019/20 were £326m compared to £312m the previous year.

Staff costs include an increase of £4m in employee leave provision, as a result of a temporary increase in leave carry-forward entitlement in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on staff’s holiday plans.

Other operating costs (excluding depreciation) in 2019/20 were £174m compared to £180m the previous year. The reduction in costs is attributable to the impact of COVID-19 as offices were closed, travel was significantly restricted and research activities reduced.

However, £4m was spent on COVID-19 related student and staff measures, quickly enabling and enhancing our on-line student learning facilities, supporting staff to work from home, altering our teaching and research buildings’ internal infrastructure to support social distancing measures and setting-up a student and staff COVID-19 testing facility.

Analysis of 2019/20 spend by category

Category2019/202018/19
Academic Departments£235m£235m
Research Grants & Contracts£81m£86m
Academic Services£32m£32m
Other services rendered£36m£38m
Premises£39m£34m
Administration and central services£30m£30m
Residences, catering and conferences£12m£14m
Other expenses£30m£24m
Interest payable and finance charges£12m£12m
Depreciation£40m£41m
COVID-19 related costs£8m-
Voluntary Severance Scheme-£6m
Total Expenditure£555m£552m