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United post record revenues and reduce debts

ESPN staff
May 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Manchester United have reduced their debts by 16% in the last nine months © Getty Images
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Fresh from winning a record-extending 20th English title, Manchester United showed they are successful off the pitch as well by posting record revenues while reducing its debts.

The club announced on Thursday it is on course to generate more than £350 million ($545m) this season after earning a record £91.7m ($143m) in the three months to March 31.

But the title triumph has come at a price, with the wage bill rising 25% year-on-year to £44.9m ($70m) in the third quarter. Wages have risen due to the impact of new signings - including Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa - renegotiated contracts and the growth of United's commercial team, which also has a base in Hong Kong.

The club, which is owned by the American Glazer family, has reduced its debt to £367.6m ($572m) - a drop of 16% in nine months.

Net profit more than trebled year-on-year to £3.6m ($5.6m) in the third quarter.

Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Each of our three primary sectors - commercial, broadcasting and matchday - delivered strong top-line gains and helped us achieve a record third quarter for both revenue and adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). United's powerful commercial arm made a massive contribution to the results."

A rise of 31.9% on the corresponding three months last year means overall commercial income has gone up by 27.9% to ($178.3m) over the full nine-month period.

The broadcast and matchday sectors show a 21.7% and 34% increase on the corresponding three months respectively.

However, total operating expenses for the third quarter increased 18.6% year-on-year to £79m ($123m).

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