Kilmarnock nudge net debt down to £9.7m

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Kilmarnock were 2-0 winners against Aberdeen at the weekend
Kilmarnock have kept their players and staff wages at around £3.5m

Kilmarnock have posted a trading profit of approximately £200,000 for the year ended 31 May 2011.

This compares to a loss of nearly £500,000 recorded in the previous year's financial accounts.

The club's net debt now stands at £9.7m, which is a reduction on last year's figure which was £10.5m.

Chairman Michael Johnston said: "Our success on the field and our transfer activity have combined to turn a trading loss in 2010 into a profit."

Turnover for the year was £7.1m, an increase of £1m on last year.

Players and staff wages were £3.5m, a figure that has remained fairly consistent for the past three years.

Johnston added: "The club continues to enjoy the support of Lloyds Banking Group and we have reciprocated this by further reducing net debt.

"This stood at £13m when I became chairman in 2005 and currently stands at £9.4m, further debt reduction having taken place in recent months.

"This process must continue and the rate of progress will depend upon a number of factors, the most significant being the performance of the team in the SPL and cup competitions."

In his statement to shareholders he praised previous manager Mixu Paatelainen, who left the club in March to become the Finland national boss.

He complimented Kenny Shiels on his stewardship since taking over and welcomed the return of Jimmy Nicholl to the club as assistant manager.

"They have made a steady start to the SPL season and with a little more luck, two or three of our seven draws to date would have been wins, " insisted Johnston.

But, as he commented on the summer transfer activity, the chairman also took the opportunity to have a sideways swipe at Mehdi Taouil and Jamie Hamill, who joined cash-strapped Hearts.

"The end of the season saw the departure of Craig Bryson to Derby County where he has already established himself as a first team regular, " he said.

"Mehdi Taouil, Jamie Hamill and Frazer Wright declined offers of new contracts on improved terms to join other SPL clubs.

"At least two of them might be questioning the wisdom of that at present."