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Manchester United notched up rising broadcast revenues in its second quarter, helping reverse a dip in its financial fortunes at the start of the new Premier League season.
Reporting results from the three months to December, the team known as the “Red Devils” said its operating profits rose 15.3 per cent to £37.6m, while revenues were up 18 per cent to £157.9m from £133.8m compared to the same period in 2015.
United, currently in sixth place in the English Premier League, was helped along by healthy climbs in its broadcasting and matchday revenues, which were up 41 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.
Quarterly revenue and incomes had fallen in its first quarter - the start of the new football season – on account of the club’s absence from Uefa’s elite Champions League tournament.
The most decorated club in domestic English football announced three sponsorship deals at the end of last year, including with music streaming service Deezer and an agreement for its first ever branded pillows and mattresses with company Milly. This helped push its overall sponsorship revenues up 3.5 per cent to £38.7m in the period.
Despite looking likely to miss out on the big prize in English football this year, United will be contesting the final of the English Football League Cup Final later this month. The club also forked out in the summer for the world’s most expensive football player, Paul Pogba at a cost of €105m (£89m).
Player acquisitions meant its “employee benefit expenses”, which includes its wage bill, rose by £7.9m or 14.2 per cent at £63.6m in the quarter. This weighed down on its net income which slipped by nearly 6 per cent to £17.5m.
United returned to the summit as the world’s richest football club last year, for the first time in a decade according to Deloitte’s annual “money league”.
Executive chairman Ed Woodward said United were on course to post record revenues this year in the range of £530m-£540m.
“The robustness of our business model continues to be reflected in our strong quarterly financial results”, said Mr Woodward.
The club’s US-listed shares are up 0.33 per cent in pre-market trading.