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Beijing Olympics' profit exceeds 1b yuan
Updated: 2009-06-19 14:43

China made an operating profit of over 1 billion yuan ($146 million) from the 2008 Summer Olympics, the National Audit Office said on Friday.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) reported income of 20.5 billion yuan and expenses of 19.34 billion yuan for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, according to an NAO tracking audit of Games' finances and construction costs of venues.

The Beijing Paralympics broke even with income and costs each totaling 863 million yuan, said the eighth NAO report of the year.

The tracking audit started from 2005, including an audit on the draft final accounts of the BOCOG, according to NAO.

The Games' income mainly came from sales of broadcasting rights, souvenirs and tickets, assets sales, and sponsorship, while the main expenditure items involved temporary facilities, sports and communication equipment, accommodation and medical services.

BOCOG spent 831 million yuan on the opening and closing ceremonies, 332 million yuan on the Olympic torch relay, and 171 million yuan on the volunteer program.

Ticket sales brought in 1.28 billion yuan and assets sales 240 million yuan. A total of 6.46 million tickets were sold, accounting for 95 percent of the tickets available.

Total investment in the Beijing Olympic venues stood at 19.49 billion yuan, covering 102 projects in Beijing and five co-host cities, said the report.

Of that investment, 3.5 billion yuan came from the central government, 8.26 billion yuan was allocated by local governments, and 1.08 billion yuan from donations from overseas Chinese, according to the report.

No major problems were found during the audit, and no accidents or quality problems were identified in the construction of the Olympic venues, it said.

BOCOG had maintained "strict control" over spending and income, and kept "transparent, economical and efficient" accounts, said a statement on the NAO website.

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However, minor problems did exist, said the report, including irregularities in project subcontracting and bidding, as well as a deficit in the construction of the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest.

The construction of the stadium went 456 million yuan over budget due to its complicated structure, technical difficulties, and adjustments in construction standards and its functions.

The estimated budget of the Bird's Nest stood at 3.14 billion yuan, it said.

"The 2008 Olympics and Paralympics were not the most expensive games ever held," the statement said, citing the expenditure of the previous Games and the budget of the 2012 event in London.

Athens had spent more than 10 billion Euros ($11.9 billion in 2004) staging the 2004 Olympic Games, and its operating costs stood at $2.4 billion.

The budget of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics reached 9.3 billion pounds ($15.2 billion), according to the British government annual report on preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics.

The profit would be distributed to the International Olympic Committee, the Chinese Olympic Committee and BOCOG, which would set up funds for sports development, including improvements to public sports facilities and promoting mass sports activities, said the statement.

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