Juventus sees new year in the red after record loss

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Crotone - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - February 22, 2021 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN (Reuters) -Italy's top flight soccer club Juventus said it would finish the current financial year in the red after it reported a record annual loss during its first trophyless season in a decade.

The bleak financial outlook coincides with a tough start to the new season for Italy's most successful side.

Juventus has won only two out of seven games in Serie A and lost their opening two games of the Champions League group stage. The club is currently eighth in the Serie A standings.

The net loss at the Turin-based side widened to 254 million euros ($246 million) in the 2021-22 financial year from 209 million euros the year before, as revenue fell by 7.8% in the 12 months ending June 30.

By contrast, operating costs rose by 7.6% over the same period, Juventus said in a statement late on Friday.

Juventus, which is owned by Italy's Agnelli family, said it continued to suffer from the effects of COVID-19, adding the 23 million euros generated by the 2022/2023 season ticket campaign were slightly below the ticket campaigns of the pre-pandemic seasons.

This was partly because of a decision to leave more tickets available for "single-access" Championship matches, but also discounts to compensate season tickets holders for matches that were closed to the public during the pandemic.

Juventus, which raised 400 million euros in a new share sale in December to cut debt, said its performance would greatly improve this year thanks to steps taken to cut costs and boost revenues over the medium term.

"The expected improvement (is) not such, at present, as to suggest the achievement of break-even from the current financial year," the club said.

Net financial debt stood at 153 million euros as of June 30, down from 389 million euros a year earlier.

($1 = 1.0320 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Valentina Za and Jane Merriman)

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