Manchester United still financial champions
16 November 2011
Manchester United looks to have kicked off another record-breaking year off the pitch with an increase in revenues and operating profits for the first three months of its financial year.
The Premier League champions cited a revival in demand for match-day hospitality as a key factor in its growth during the three months to September 30.
Total turnover at Red Football Group, the holding company of Manchester United, during the period rose from £63.3m to £73.8m. Group operating profits climbed from £14.9m to £19.3m.
The club also slashed its gross debts from £516.7m to £433.2m.
It is planning to tackle its debts with a partial flotation on the Singapore Stock Exchange, which has been delayed as a result of the uncertain financial markets but is still expected before the end of the year.
Match-day revenues were up 16.6 per cent from £19.7m to £21.6m after hospitality boxes for the whole season sold out for the first time.
Media revenues increased 16.5 per cent from £19.4m to £22.6m, largely because United topped the league last season and has received a bigger slice of TV revenues.
Commercial revenues climbed 22.3 per cent from £24.2m to £29.6m, boosted by partnerships with a number of telecoms companies to provide exclusive content to fans.
Deals have been struck in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, India, South Africa and Malaysia.
The club has also secured a four-year training kit sponsorship with logistics giant DHL, said to be worth £10m a season.
However, total operating costs increased year-on-year from £48.4m to £54.5m, including the club's pre-season tour of the United States and £8m spent on land purchases around the Old Trafford stadium.
The amount United spent on players during the period was up year-on-year from £8.2m to £47.1m, which included new signings David De Gea from Real Madrid and Ashley Young from Aston Villa, as well as new contracts with existing players such as Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling.
That hit the group's cash balances, which fell from £151.7m to £65m.
General capital expenditure was up from £3.7m to £13.8m after the club splashed out on developing its corporate boxes and hospitality areas, as well as its Carrington training facilities.
In June, United announced record annual revenues of £331.4m, up £45m on the previous year.