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Champions League berth causes Celtic's profits soar

Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon celebrates his club's Champions League win over Spartak Moscow.

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) ? Boosted by its progress to the Champions League knockout stage, Celtic has posted a pre-tax profit of nearly 15 million pounds ($23.5 million) for the second half of 2012 to virtually wipe out the Scottish club's bank debt.

Revenue generated by involvement in the European competition helped Celtic increase turnover by 71 percent to 50.06 million pounds ($78.3 million), with operating expenses up by 30 percent to almost 37 million pounds ($58 million) in the six months up to Dec. 31.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier says success in the Champions League has enhanced "the club's international reputation'' and had a "major bearing on our financial performance.''

The Scottish champions' bank debt stood at just 130,000 pounds ($203,611) on Dec. 31, down from 7 million pounds ($11 million) 12 months earlier.

Celtic plays Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday.

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