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Man Utd cuts gross debt to £359.7mn


Broadcasting revenue down 37.4% owing to match schedules

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Premier League’s leading football club Manchester United has reduced its gross debt to £359.7 million in the three months to 30 September, down 17 percent over the same period last year.

It was announced on Wednesday that majority owners – the Glazer family – had used proceeds from the club's August flotation on the New York Stock Exchange to pay off £62.6 million of bond debt.

Total revenue rose by 3.4 percent to £76.3 million, but broadcasting revenues dipped 37.4 percent to £13.7 million. United said the dip was mainly down to match scheduling issues. The club played only one Champions League game over the quarter, while it played two in the corresponding period last year.

United also had two fewer Premier League games broadcast live in the quarter to September-end on a year-over-year comparison. Such differences accounted for a drop of £5.6 million. It also earned £2.6 million less from the European Champions’ League as a result of finishing second in the Premier League in 2011-12 on goal difference to Manchester City.

Matchday revenues rose 13.3 percent to £19.6 million. The club also benefitted from one-off fees earned by staging nine Olympic Games football matches at its Old Trafford stadium.

Revenue from its commercial operations rose 24.3 percent to £43 million, on the back of 10 new sponsorship deals entered into during the quarter, including deals with General Motors and Bwin.

United also declared a £3.1 million charge for professional adviser fees in connection with its New York stock market listing. The club added that it made a £4.8 million profit from player sales in the quarter including the sale of Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov to Fulham and Korean Ji-Sung Park to QPR.

Overall, it made a net profit of £20.5 million compared with a loss of £5 million a year earlier.

Commenting on the figures, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said, “Manchester United had a record first quarter driven by our commercial operation, which continues to experience extremely strong global revenue growth in new media and mobile, retail merchandising and sponsorship.”

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Man Utd cuts gross debt to £359.7mn
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