Man Utd reports record revenues for first quarter

Robin van Perse
Image caption Manchester United's Robin van Persie and Arsenal's Mikel Arteta at Old Trafford

Manchester United has reported record revenue of £98.5m for the first three months of its financial year.

The 29% revenue rise came after a 63% jump in sponsorship income and an increase in earnings from TV deals.

There were 12 new sponsorship deals signed, including one with Russian airline Aeroflot.

The club predicts revenues for the whole year of £420-430m, bringing it closer to Europe's wealthiest clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Staff costs for the quarter rose by 31% to £52.9m

TV boost

Manchester United - which is controlled by the US-based Glazer family - also welcomed the latest broadcast deal under which BT Sport paid nearly £900m for a three-year deal to broadcast live Champions League and Europa League matches.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement: "This deal represents a meaningful increase over the current arrangement, which should translate into higher broadcasting revenue for the participating clubs."

The club said 12 new sponsorship deals were activated in the quarter with a range of companies, including Russian airline Aeroflot and the soft drinks company PepsiCo.

Licensing of clothing and other products brought in £10.7m, a rise of 13.8% on last year, and broadcasting revenue rose 41% to £19.3m,

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said commented "Manchester United's stuttering start to the domestic season is in stark contrast to its performance off the field.

"There are some causes for concern, such as the steep percentage rises in operating expenses generally, and staff costs in particular."

However, he said that while the share price would inevitably be affected by the on-field performance, "there is no sign of the Manchester United marketing machine beating a retreat".

On Thursday shares in the business, which are listed on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange, were up 2.4% in midday trading there.

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