United show healthy profit surge

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iol spt may15 United Getty Images Despite a poor Premier League campaign, Manchester United reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly profit. Photo by: Richard Heathcote

London - English soccer club Manchester United reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly profit on Thursday, saying it had the financial muscle to improve its squad after a poor season on the pitch.

There was no word from the club, owned by the American Glazer family, on the identity of a new manager after the departure of David Moyes last month following a failed first season in charge.

“Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season,” Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

Woodward added that United had generated record revenue and profit in the three months to the end of March despite the problems on the pitch. “This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad,” he said.

Revenue in the three months to March rose 26 percent to 115.5 million pounds ($194 million) and operating profit reached 40 million.

For the year as a whole, the club stuck to its forecast for revenue of between 420 and 430 million pounds and EBITDA (operating profit) of 128 to 133 million.

United, English champions a record 20 times, are set to confirm Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal as their new manager, according to media reports, after Moyes was ousted.

Moyes had been picked by his predecessor Alex Ferguson, who had become the most successful manager in British soccer in his 26 years in charge, but his performance fell short and the club faces heavy spending on new players in coming months to compete better next season.

United finished only seventh in the 20-team Premier League in 2013-14, a position which means they will miss out on European competition next season, an absence that is likely to cost the club around 40 million pounds ($67 million)in revenue.

That will be offset by a new shirt sponsorship deal that will involve players wearing the Chevrolet logo on their famous red shirts from the start of next season. – Reuters

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