By Paul Nicholson
November 17 – Manchester United are immediately showing the importance of their return to Champions League football announcing a 17% revenue rise to £141 million for the first financial quarter of 2018 ended September 30.
The revenues show and operating profit of £15.2 million for the quarter and the club said it is on course for full year revenue of £575 million to £585 million, a record for the club.
The biggest contribution to the uplift in revenue comes from broadcasting revenue which delivered £38.1 million, an increase of £9 million against the same quarter last year, primarily due UEFA Champions League participation, one additional PL home game and their appearance in the UEFA Super Cup final.
Commercial revenue for the quarter was up by £6.2 million to £80.5 million. At £53.2 million, sponsorship revenue showed a £6.3 million increase. Retail, merchandising, apparel and product licensing revenue for the quarter was £27.3 million, a drop of £0.1 million.
The club highlighted its five tour matches in the US to a cumulative stadium audience of more than 250,000 as an important brand progression. Those these came at a cost that bumped operating expenses up by £7.8 million.
Total operating expenses for the quarter were £143.1 million, an increase of £20.9 million. Employee wages for the quarter were £69.9 million, an increase of £7.6 million, primarily due to player salary uplifts due to Champions League participation.
The importance of home game revenue to the financial figures is evident in the figures. Progression in cup competitions may be the nightmare of managers protecting their player resources, but they are the dreams of accountants, owners and investors chasing financial profit.
Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman, said: “We are just over a quarter of the way through what promises to be another exciting season. In the Champions League we have won all four games played to-date; we are through to the Quarter Final of the Carabao Cup; and are looking forward to the next few months as the number of matches ramps up.”
Doubtless the Glazer family who own the majority of the club are looking forward to these matches as well. The club announced a a decrease of £69.6 million to £268.1 million in net debt, and a semi-annual cash dividend of $0.09 per share.
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