Manchester United back in the black ahead of potential sale


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Southampton - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 12, 2023 General view of seats in a stand inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) -Manchester United swung to a second-quarter net profit on the back of higher commercial revenue and lower wages, the club said on Thursday.

Net profit came in at 6.3 million pounds ($7.78 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, against a 1.4 million pound loss a year earlier.

Revenue fell almost 10% to 167 million pounds, with increased commercial revenue outweighed by a drop in broadcasting revenue and lower match-day revenue because there were fewer home games than in the same period last year.

United's American owners, the Glazer family, launched a formal sale process late last year and have received several bids, including from Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus.

The Old Trafford club did not provide any details about the sale on Thursday.

United said ticket sales for the current 2022/23 season have surpassed the record set in 2016/17, hitting a cumulative 2.3 million tickets sold.

The 20-times English soccer champions won the domestic League Cup in February for their first trophy since winning the Europa League in 2017 - their longest wait for silverware since 1983.

The Red Devils currently sit third in the Premier League and have reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Prices for adult season ticket renewals have been increased by about 5% for next season, the club said.

Short-term borrowing at the end of last year jumped 95% to 206.2 million pounds, the club said.

Forecasts for annual revenue and core profit remain unchanged, United added.

($1 = 0.8098 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Eva Mathews in BengaluruEditing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Goodman)

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