Bumper legacy income helps RNID record first surplus in years

The hearing loss charity RNID has cleared its debts and recorded its first surplus in years, latest accounts show. 

The charity said the sale of its London office and other measures had helped it to no longer be reliant on a revolving credit facility.

Its most recent accounts, for the year to the end of March 2020, show it had an income of £42.7m and expenditure of £41.5m.

The RNID, which announced in October it was dropping the name Action on Hearing Loss after nine years to revert to its former title, has recorded a deficit in each of the previous five years, according to its entry on the Charity Commission’s online register. 

The charity was also boosted by a record year for legacies – income from this source rose from £8.1m in 2018/19 to £11.4m. 

“This should be considered an exceptional performance and we would not expect to necessarily see a repeat of this in coming years,” the accounts say. 

Overall income from donations, including legacies, rose to £15.2m in 2019/20 from £12.4m in the previous year. 

Mark Atkinson, who joined the charity in October 2018 with a brief to turn around the charity’s financial situation, told Third Sector earlier this year that the organisation had been within weeks of running out of money

The accounts show that the charity gained £8.9m through the proceeds of the sale of tangible fixed assets, which was mainly earned from the sale of its London office, but these funds were not counted toward overall income and so have not artificially inflated income figures, a spokesperson for the charity said. 

Nonetheless, the sale did help the organisation pay off its debts and strengthen its balance sheet. 

“For the first time in many years, RNID is no longer financially encumbered and can begin to focus on and invest in our ambitious new strategy,” the accounts say.

They also note that the coronavirus pandemic had delayed the charity’s plans to transfer its care and support services to another provider, a process it had hoped to complete in early 2020/21. 

But it said trustees remained committed to the sale of the services and there was no rush to complete the process. 

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