Williams Formula One Team Has 5-Million Pound Loss on Hybrid Bet

Williams Grand Prix Holdings Plc had a loss of 5 million pounds ($7.8 million) in 2012 as the only publicly listed Formula One team’s sponsorships didn’t offset costs and investment on hybrid technology.

Williams, which had a profit of 7.4 million pounds in the year-earlier period, said in an e-mailed statement it didn’t include a payment of 9.4 million pounds from the most-popular auto racing series for the year through Dec. 31 because of accounting rules. Sales rose 22 percent to 127 million pounds.

Williams, which won the last of its Formula One titles in 1997, relies on sponsorship and prize money for most of its revenue. In 2008, the team began developing energy-saving flywheels for cars and public transport. The shares have lost 12 percent of their value this year.

Non-Formula One revenue from the Williams Advanced Engineering brand rose to 38 million pounds in 2012 from 16 million pounds a year earlier, the group’s Chief Executive Officer Alex Burns said in the statement.

“The growth of these new investment businesses at a time of global financial instability” puts the company on a sound footing to deliver its long-term strategy, Burns said.

A Williams-made flywheel was used by Audi AG’s team in winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans last June. In March 2012, the company agreed to develop six prototype buses with London bus operator Go-Ahead Group Plc.

Williams drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas haven’t scored a point after four of 19 races this year.