Man Utd reports record sales but wage bill jumps

Robin van Persie of Manchester United
Image caption New signings have added to United's wage bill

Manchester United reported a record £91.7m ($143m) in sales for the third quarter helped by sponsorship deals and Champions League revenues.

But operating costs, including staff wages, hit earnings. The club reported a pre-tax loss of £3.1m.

The club said its quarterly wage bill had risen to £45m, up 25% from a year ago, partly due to new signings such as Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa.

United is owned by the US Glazer family and listed in New York last year.

"Each of our three primary sectors, commercial, broadcasting and Matchday, delivered strong top-line gains and helped us achieve a record third quarter," said executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.

"In addition, we are delighted to be continuing and deepening our relationship with Aon, as our new training kit, training centre and tour partner, for an additional eight years."

Commercial sales grew 32% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. Sponsorship deals brought in £21m for the club, a 52% increase. Revenue from retail, merchandising and mobile devices also grew.

The club, which claims to have more than 650 million fans, signed three new deals during the quarter, with Japanese social gaming firm Gloops, Danish financial services firm Ekspress Bank and Vietnam's BIDV.

Broadcasting revenues jumped 28.4% year-on-year to £21.7m thanks to Manchester United's progress to the last 16 of the Champions League, compared with last year when the team was knocked out after the group stage.

The club listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange last August. Its shares were up 2.4% at $18.41 following the earnings release, about 30% higher than it was at the time of the flotation.

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