Manchester United plc has announced financial results for its 2021 fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2020, showing revenue rose 2.6% to £172.8 million and profit (net income) rose 82.6% to £63.9 million.
However, net debt as of December 31 was £455.5 million, an increase of £64.2 million over the year.
“The increase in net debt compared to 31 December 2019 reflects the loss of 2020/21 season matchday advance cash receipts, and the impact of deferred sponsorship payments, partially offset by increased broadcasting receipts,” said the New York-listed company.
Manchester United shares fell about 4% to around $18.83 to give the company a current stock market value of about £3 billion, according to Reuters data.
Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £108.7 million, an increase of £44 million or 68% over the prior year quarter due to participation in the UEFA Champions League.
Employee benefit expenses for the quarter were £81.7 million, an increase of £10.8 million, or 15.2% over the prior year quarter.
Matchday revenue was £1.5 million, a decrease of £31.6 million or 95.5% over the prior year quarter due to all matches being played behind closed doors.
Commercial revenue was £62.6 million, a decrease of £8 million or 11.3% over the prior year quarter.
Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: “As we approach a full year since our last game with fans at Old Trafford, we reflect on an extraordinarily challenging 12 months for football and society as a whole.
“The rapid rollout of vaccines in the UK and beyond gives us confidence that we are now on a path towards normality, including the return of fans to stadia.
“While the disruption to our operations remains significant, we are pleased by the tremendous resilience the club has demonstrated through the pandemic, underpinned by the dedication of our people and the strength of our commercial business.
“We have been reminded of the importance of football as a source of community, entertainment and pride to fans around the world, even as we have sorely missed them at Old Trafford.
“The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving Academy and Women’s team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch.”