Wolves enjoy life back in Premier League with £22m profit

By David Owen

February 18 – Wolverhampton Wanderers, the famous old Midlands club currently engaged on their first European campaign in almost four decades, have reported a rebound to profitability for their first season back in the Premier League.

The Chinese-controlled outfit posted a pre-tax profit of £22.1 million for the entity known as Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (1986) Limited for the year to end-May 2019. The immediate parent undertaking, W.W. (1990) Limited, which also embraces a property business, recorded a slightly smaller profit of £19.96 million.

Wolves were basically able to capitalise on the massive revenue surge that comes with promotion to the English top tier to turn around the previous year’s swingeing losses of more than £55 million. While turnover soared by £146 million to £172.5 million, the positive profit swing was £77 million, signifying that more than half of this cash boost had flowed down to the bottom line.

Every turnover category advanced: gate receipts from £7.8 million to £11.5 million; sponsorship and advertising from £2.6 million to £15.3 million; broadcast rights from £1.1 million to £18.7 million; commercial from £6.3 million to £10.6 million; and, most of all, league distributions from £6.9 million to £114.7 million.

Set in this context, another jump in staff costs, this time from £50.7 million to £92.1 million, was manageable.

Loans due to group undertakings climbed from £107.6 million to £163.6 million. Year-end cash amounted to fractionally under £28 million, leaving net debt of £135.6 million.

The group served notice that last September it had secured additional financing facilities totalling £50 million. These comprised a £25 million term loan expiring in August 2022 and a revolving credit facility for the same amount expiring a year earlier with a one-year extension option in favour of the lenders. Both facilities are repayable earlier in the event of relegation, though with the club lying eighth and playing solid, sometimes exhilarating, football, there is no danger of that this season.

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