Manchester United posts profit rise despite its ‘turbulent’ season


Paul Pogba of Manchester United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016 in Manchester, England.

Michael Regan | Getty Images

The parent firm of famous soccer club Manchester United announced third-quarter operating profits of £14.2 million ($18.1 million) Thursday, a rise of 94.5% from the same period last year despite a challenging season in the English Premier League.

Revenue generated by Manchester United PLC in its most recent results was £152.1 million, which was down almost £56 million on the previous quarter, but almost £15 million more than the same period last year. Net profit saw a rise of 11.6% to £7.7 million for the same period last year.

“After a turbulent season, everyone at Manchester United is focused on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve” said Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman, in earnings statement.

The club is sticking to its forecast for the year to June 30 even as it posted a drop in third-quarter core earnings. It’s also hurt by a hefty wage bill on members of its playing squad including Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba and has seen total wages for the first-team squad increase by 12.9%.

“Preparations for the new season are underway and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future,” Woodward went on to say.

A sixth-placed finished to the Premier League season, which included a final-day defeat to already relegated Cardiff City meant Manchester United will not play in the Champions League next season. Its absence from Europe’s top club competition could have a bearing on player recruitment in the summer, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starts an overhaul of the playing staff.

The club has maintained commercial success with several global partners, despite changing manager four times since 2014 and has recently signed a new deal with Marriott Hotels. However, commercial revenue for the quarter was £66.6 million, which was unchanged from the prior year quarter.

Matchday revenue at its 75,000 capacity Old Trafford stadium for the quarter was £31.7 million, an increase of £0.6 million, or 1.9%, over the prior year quarter.

Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £53.8 million, an increase of £4.4 million, or 8.9%, over the prior year quarter, primarily due to the new Champions League broadcasting rights agreement and playing one additional Premier League game.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 came in at £41.2 million, down from £45.7 million a year earlier, the club said Thursday.

The 20-time English champions continue to expect revenue of £615 million to £630 million and adjusted EBITDA of £175 to £190 million for the whole of its fiscal year.

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