Profits bounce at buoyant Bundesliga as revenue tops $3.2bn mark

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By David Owen

January 26 – Germany’s Bundesliga enjoyed a landmark year for business in 2015-16, with post-tax profits among the 18 top-tier clubs soaring to a record €206.2 million. All but two of the clubs in the competition were profitable. The outcome was described as “far and away the best result” in the league’s history.

Top-line growth was also strong, with aggregate revenue exceeding €3 billion for the first time at €3.24 billion. A total of 13 of the 18 clubs posted revenue in excess of €100 million.

Taking into account Bundesliga 2, the German second division, aggregate revenue climbed 23.2% to a record €3.85 billion. Even second-tier clubs, striving for promotion to the top division, were in the black, with 34 of the 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 competitors said to be profitable.

While expenses were said to have risen, the Bundesliga’s wage:revenue ratio was outstandingly low at 32.6%.

By way of comparison, aggregate pre-tax profits across the 20 clubs in the English Premier League amounted to £126.9 million in 2014-15 and £187 million in 2013-14. In 2014-15, 14 of the 20 clubs were profitable.

With runaway league leaders Chelsea having already reported a pre-tax loss of close to £70 million, it looks unlikely that the English league will match the Bundesliga’s profitability in 2015-16, although a highly lucrative new set of TV deals suggests that profits should again surge in 2016-17.

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