Manchester United brought in record revenues of £515.3m for the 2016 financial year, the first British football club to do so.
The record income came in a year when the club won the FA Cup, but didn’t make it out of the group stages of the Champions League and failed to qualify for this year’s competition. Nevertheless, United predict 2017 revenues of up to £540m.
The club’s accounts up until 30 June 2016 confirm that the Premier League club were the first British team to break the half-billion mark, but the figure is still some way short of Barcelona’s €679m (£570m) revenue revealed in July.
The Premier League giants also revealed operating profits of £68.9m, and adjusted core earnings of £191.9m, both also records.
“Our record fiscal 2016 financial performance reflects the continued underlying strength of the business and the club is on target to achieve record revenues in 2017, even without a contribution from the Champions League,” said executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“This strong financial performance has enabled us to invest in our squad, team management and facilities to position us to challenge for, and win, trophies in the coming years.”
Net debt increased by £5.7m on the previous year, to £260.9m, which the club said was primarily due to the impact of foreign exchange rate movements on its US-denominated debt.
The big increase in United’s revenue came from an improved performance from the club’s commercial department which showed a 36.3% increase to £268.3m. On the commercial front during the 2015-16 season, the club began its new deal with kit sponsor and supplier Adidas, which it says “was a very successful launch”.
In addition it brought the management of Old Trafford Megastore in-house, and signed several licensing deals including with Sbenu, New Era and Columbia.
Meanwhile, broadcasting revenue for the year was £140.4m, an increase of £32.7m, or 30.4%, on the previous year, which the club says was “primarily due to participation in Uefa competitions”.
And matchday income was £106.6m, which, though diminishing as a proportion of the club’s overall revenue, increased by £16.0m, or 17.7%,on 2014-15, thanks to that European participation and the club’s run to the FA Cup final.
The club’s revenue target for 2016-17 will be helped by the new Premier League TV deals, with the club noting that “domestic live broadcasting rights [are] up 70% and international rights up approximately 40% for the 2017 to 2019 cycle”.