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Manchester United posts record revenue, debt drops

Photo: Jin Lee/AP

Executives from Manchester United applaud after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in August.

Fresh from winning a record 20th English league title, Manchester United is also keeping up its success off the field by producing record revenues while reducing its debts.

United said Thursday it is on course to generate more than 350 million pounds ($545 million) in revenue this season after earning a record 91.7 million pounds ($143 million) in the three months to March 31.

But the title triumph has come at a price, with the player payroll rising 25 percent year-to year at 44.9 million pounds ($70 million) in the third quarter.

The club, which is owned by the American Glazer family, has reduced its debt to 367.6 million pounds ($572 million) - a drop of 16 percent in nine months - in part by using the proceeds of an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in August. United shares, which made a lackluster market debut at $14, closed at $18.41 on Wednesday.

Net profit more than tripled year-to-year to 3.6 million pounds ($5.6 million) in the third quarter.

While United already has clinched the league title, it was eliminated in the second round of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

"I wouldn't expect there to be a need for a major retooling of the squad, we have fantastic depth,'' vice chairman Ed Woodward said on a conference call with investors. "We are very comfortable with the makeup of the team and the squad. ... We could put two first teams out with 11 internationals.''

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