Manchester United on Thursday promised to use its financial strength to support new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær after a “turbulent season” as it stuck with its full-year earnings forecast.
The company announced that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months to the end of March fell to £41.2 million, down from £45.7 million a year earlier.
Employee benefit expenses for the quarter were £84.8 million, an increase of £9.7 million, or 12.9%, over the prior year quarter, “primarily due to investment in the first team playing squad.”
Net debt was £301.7 million.
United finished a disappointing sixth in the English Premier League, missing out on a place in next season’s lucrative UEFA Champions League.
Announcing financial results for the 2019 fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2019, the company said it continues to expect full-year fiscal 2019 revenue to be £615 million to £630 million and adjusted EBITDA to be £175 million to £190 million.
Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman, said: “After a turbulent season, everyone at Manchester United is focussed on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve.
“Preparations for the new season are underway and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future.”
Commercial revenue for the quarter was £66.6 million, unchanged from the prior year quarter.
Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £53.8 million, an increase of £4.4 million, or 8.9%, over the prior year quarter, primarily due to the new UEFA Champions League broadcasting rights agreement and playing one additional PL game.
Matchday revenue for the quarter was £31.7 million, an increase of £0.6 million, or 1.9%, over the prior year quarter.
Total operating expenses for the quarter were £144.2 million, an increase of £7.8 million, or 5.7%, over the prior year quarter.