Cancer Research UK averted 70 expected job losses despite £74m fall in income

The charity says it had a better-than-expected financial performance but still had to lose 221 jobs

At least 70 job losses have been averted at Cancer Research UK after a better than expected financial performance improved on its reduced income forecast by £50m. 

The charity warned in July last year that it would have to cut the size of its workforce by between 295 and 345 employees as a result of a predicted £300m drop in income over the next three years.

But its latest accounts up to 31 March 2021 show only 221 jobs were lost from its 4,094 strong workforce after it reported a revised income drop of £250m.

The charity said its performance was better than expected as a result of cost saving measures, coupled with supporters continuing to give generously, which put it in a stronger position than initially predicted.

Redundancies were also reduced through a recruitment freeze, and by redeploying colleagues and removing vacancies, but the charity said that a number of redundancies will also take place in the financial year 2021/22.

Its total income for 2020/21 was down £74m on the previous year to £582m, which the charity said was largely due to the temporary closure of its shops and postponement or cancellation of fundraising events affected by national and regional restrictions.

This meant income from trading activities took the biggest hit, falling £60m to £47.7m, while income from donations and legacies fell £9m to £414m.

Spending on charitable activities dropped significantly, by about £90m to £419m, and overall expenditure was reduced from £703m to £570m in 2020/21. 

Spending on wages and salaries was also reduced from £118m to £106m, which included £1.3m on termination payments.

The charity predicts it will return to year-on-year growth in fundraising income from 2022/23. 

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of CRUK, said: “Covid-19 has disrupted cancer care, our life-saving research and us as a charity. 

“We were forced to take difficult emergency measures at the start of the pandemic to ensure our financial stability and buy us the time to put a plan in place for how we would recover from the pandemic. 

“This agility, unity and the collective strength displayed by our wonderful staff, supporters and volunteers throughout this time has been admirable.”

Mitchell said she was cautiously optimistic for the future as the charity continued to launch new partnerships and new campaigns in the global fight against cancer.

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