Celtic released accounts today for the year ending 30 June 2012, a season in which they won the league and exited Europe at the Europa League group stage. Turnover was down less than £1m at £51.34m but bank debt rose £2m to £2.77m despite a £7.37m loss (the difference between the increase in bank debt and the trading loss is due to the amortisation of player registrations, which hits the accounts evenly over the period of a player’s contract).
Football and stadium income dropped by £2m and merchandising dropped by £1m while multimedia and other commercial income rose almost £2m. Football and stadium operating costs rose by over £2m. The drop in stadium revenue and corresponding rise in costs are indicative of the wider economic pressures. Inflation is affecting Celtic’s costs and Celtic fans’ ability to spend with the club.
With debt sitting at around 5% of turnover and a significant uplift in income this season assured, the club is in remarkably rude health this far into an economic downturn. Champions League revenue this season should have a transformational effect on how Celtic can forward plan, potentially reversing that £7m loss.
Economic headwinds are likely to supress key ticket and merchandise revenue for the foreseeable future but Champions League revenues seem immune from these challenges. The primary plan for this season must be to qualify for the group stage of Europe’s top competition next season. Get there and we can continue to operate with the existing cost structures (and more) and still pay our taxes!
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