BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer and secretary general Thomas Lund at the AGM ©BWF

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has reported a positive turn in its finances following the COVID-19 pandemic, at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Bangkok.

It was the first hybrid AGM held in BWF history - with those unable to attend in Thailand instead participating virtually - and it welcomed 132 member associations.

Among the updates was a report of a surplus of $19.71 million (£15.98 million/€18.69 million) against a budgeted deficit of $8.97 million (£7.27 million/€8.5 million) in 2021.

The AGM was held on the eve of the Thomas and Uber Cups - among the BWF's most important competitions - beginning in Bangkok.

Many Asian countries easing COVID-19 restrictions, allowing for badminton tournaments to be staged there more easily, is likely to provide a further financial boost for the BWF.

BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said despite challenges, there were positives to take from the season.

"I am pleased to report that BWF is back to a more stable financial situation compared to where we were 12 months ago," said Lund. 

"Strong revenue generation through major tournaments against conservative budgeting meant we have been able to recoup our financial position.

"The BWF Council continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation to ensure prudent financial planning moving forward and to explore opportunities to invest in the future development of the game."

Both Torsten Berg from Denmark and Dato' Wira Lim Teong Kiat of Malaysia were approved as the new BWF honorary life vice-presidents, which BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer added was well-deserved.

"Both Torsten and Dato' Lim have served BWF and the badminton community with great passion and have been instrumental in overseeing the substantial growth of the sport," said Høyer.

"I thank them for their tremendous service and am delighted we have been able to recognise them with distinction here this weekend in Bangkok."

Torsten Berg became one of two honorary life vice-presidents ©BWF
Torsten Berg became one of two honorary life vice-presidents ©BWF

Høyer thanked the commitment of the badminton community during the pandemic in his speech.

"The decisions taken at the AGM and discussions during the 10th Members' Forum show that the badminton community is very much engaged in the best interests of the sport," said the BWF President.

"It shows we have not given up or given in to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

"Over the past 18 months we have gone a long way to reaching our objective of optimising exposure for the sport and preserving the livelihoods of the playing community and other industry participants coming out of the pandemic.

"I would like to thank everyone in the badminton community for their significant contributions during this period and for their attendance, attention, and participation at our first hybrid AGM last evening."

The next AGM is set to take place in Suzhou in China in May 2023 at the same time as the BWF Sudirman Cup Finals.