Manchester United's revenue falls to £320m

Manchester United shop in Bangkok
Image caption Shares in Manchester United have fallen since their launch in New York last month

Manchester United has reported a 3.3% fall in revenue to £320.3m for the year to 30 June, after its early elimination from the Champions League last season.

Net profit rose 79.2% to £23.3m, but this was boosted by a £28m tax credit.

Revenue from sponsorship and merchandising rose by 13.7% to a record £117.6m for the year.

The numbers are the first since the football club floated on the New York Stock Exchange last month at $14-a-share, since when the price has fallen.

Following the results announcement, shares fell by 2% to $12.68.

United's failure to make the knock-out rounds of the Champions League last season meant that broadcasting revenues fell 11.3% to £104m.

"As if proof were needed, football clubs are inextricably linked to what happens on the pitch," said Richard Hunter at broker Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Along with the Champions League, the club also fell early in the FA Cup, meaning less home games than usual and therefore less matchday income."

Commercial boost

The club's borrowings, which have been an issue of concern for fans as well as investors, fell during the year from £459m to £437m.

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Manchester United said in a statement that since the flotation, which raised about $233m (£150m) for the club, borrowings had been reduced further.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: "Fiscal 2012 was the best year ever for Manchester United's commercial business."

According to the club:

  • Sponsorship revenue rose 14.9% to £63m
  • Retail and merchandising revenue rose 8% to £33.8m
  • Revenue from new media and mobile rose 15.5% to £5.2m

The club's net profits of £23.3m would have reversed into a loss were it not for a one-off tax benefit. The tax credit - set against past losses - increased by £27m to £28m, the club said.

United said it expected revenues for the current financial year to rise to between £350m and £360m, assuming the team reached the quarter finals of the Champions League and of both domestic cup competitions.

Beyond that, it said revenues would be boosted by a club-record $559m (£344m), seven-year sponsorship deal with US carmaker Chevrolet, owned by General Motors, which begins in the 2014-15 season.

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