Manchester United reports £3.8m loss but revenue rises

Marouane Fellaini celebrates after scoring in the Europa League semi finalImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The club is in the final of the Uefa Europa League

Manchester United has reported a loss for the first three months of the year as operating expenses soared.

It lost £3.8m between January and March, down from a £13.7m profit in the same period last year.

The Old Trafford club incurred higher player contract expenses, and was also hit by adverse foreign exchange movements.

But total revenues were 3% higher at £127.2m and the club now expects record full year revenues of £560m to £570m.

If the club beats Ajax in the Europa League final on 24 May it would secure a coveted place in the Champions League for next season.

Manchester United has a clause in its kitwear deal with Adidas that allows for a cut of 30% in the annual sponsorship deal if the club fails to reach the Champions League in consecutive seasons.

After failing to qualify for the tournament in 2016-17 season, it means the Europa League final in Stockholm next week now takes on added importance.


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Getty Images

Analysis: Simon Stone, BBC football correspondent

Manchester United are in line to post record profits despite being in this season’s Europa League.

Under normal circumstances, United could have expected to generate between £15m and £20m from a decent Europa League run.

This season United are expecting to earn about £7m more due to a combination of entering the tournament as England’s highest-ranked team due to their FA Cup success last term; reaching next week’s final against Ajax; and the underperformance of the other English teams. West Ham, Southampton and Tottenham.

It has allowed them to project increased revenues of between £560m and £570m and profits of between £185m and £195m. United’s record profit is £191.9m.


‘Strong finish’

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We are forecasting better full-year financial performance than expected and as such have raised our revenue and profit guidance for the year.

“We look forward to a strong finish to 2016-17, both on and off the pitch.”

Broadcast revenues were up 12.9% at £31.4m. Commercial revenues were slightly higher, while matchday income edged lower.

Two global sponsorship deals were signed during the quarter, with ride-hailing service Uber and Singapore firm Aladdin Street.

The Old Trafford club also lifted the EFL Cup during the period.

United increased its forecast for profits to between £185m and £195m for 2016-17.

Meanwhile, net debt at the end of March stood at £366.3m, an increase of £17.6m over the year.

The club’s forthcoming summer tour features one game in Norway, and five games in the US.

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