More On Edge Accounts

Something puzzled me about the Edge Foundation’s financial statements lodged with the charity commission.

The 2004 financial summary states that Edge had an income of £808,000 – all from investment – and outgoings of £1,214,000 resulting in net outgoings of £406,000. There are however unrealised gains of £27,958,000. I am informed that this would be increases in value of investments which more than compensates for the operating loss so they are actually in surplus by £27,552,000 and their reserves rise to £72,100,000.

These figures are compared with the 2003 equivalents. That year, we are told, there were net operating losses of £4.8 million and net investment gains of £3.5 million. A discontinued operation was sold for £31 million which resulted in an overall surplus of £29.8 million and their reserves rising to £44.5 million.

When you look at the summary on the 2003 accounts, however, we are told that the gain on disposal of discontinued operations in 2003 was £19.4 million resulting in a surplus of £19.5 million and their reserves rose to £34.3 million.

I emailed them several weeks ago to ask why these figures were different but as yet they have not troubled to reply. I really should have chosen a less comic nom de web. Too late to change now.

A further point: the 2005, 2006 and 2007 accounts all record operating losses, all more than compensated for by the increase in value of investments. This might be a viable strategy when the stock-market is rising but I wonder how long they can keep it up in these credit-crunched times. I will be interested in seeing their 2008 accounts when they become available

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