Despite entry into the group stages of the Europa League, Celtic’s income to the six months to 31 December 2011 increased by only £0.88m to £29.27m on the corresponding period the previous year, reflecting a fall in income from pre-season tours and a drop in merchandise sales of £454k.
Despite playing one more home game than during the last six months of 2010, income from football and stadium operations dropped £224k.
Operating expenses increased by £867k to £28.388m, reflecting inflationary pressures and the cost of Europa League participation while net bank debt dropped in the year by £2.0m to £7.05m. The club made a profit before tax of £177k.
Considering this was a period of difficult economic times and came on the heels of a loss of the league title and poor results on the field until the last seven weeks of the year, these are solid financial results. The club continues to live within its means while chipping away at legacy debt. Failure to gain entry into the group stage of the Europa League would have put further downward pressure on income but, conversely, future participation in the Champions League would transform finances.
It is important that the club regains the SPL title which would give it an excellent chance of reaching the Champions League group stage, making it a more attractive pre-season tournament proposition while boosting merchandise sales.
Around this time of the year we normally benchmark Celtic’s financial results with those from Rangers. The Ibrox club failed to submit their accounts for the 12 months to 30 June 2011 by the required date, prompting the Plus Exchange to suspend trading in their shares, so there appears to be little chance Rangers will submit even their usual eight line interims.
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