Man Utd expects revenue growth this year
LONDON, Sept 18 – English soccer club Manchester United said it expected revenue to grow in the current financial year after paying the price of a rare barren season on the field in 2011/12.
United, floated in New York last month, forecast its underlying earnings (EBITDA) should rise to £107-110 million (RM532.40-548.15 million) in 2012-13, while revenue was likely to be between £350-360 million.
The figures were based on the assumption that United reached the quarter-finals of the European Champions League and domestic cup competitions.
United failed to make it past the group stages of the Champions League last season, prompting a 16.5 per cent fall in adjusted EBITDA to £91.6 million. Total revenue dipped 3 per cent to £320.3 million in the year to June 30, 2012.
United shares were floated at US$14 to value the 19-time English champions at US$2.3 billion (RM7.05 billion). However, they have slipped lower since the launch and have been trading under US$13.
A mystery to most Americans, but a household name in soccer-loving parts of the world, the club opted for New York after ditching plans to float in Asia.
The listing was structured to leave the American Glazer family firmly in control of a club they bought in 2005 for £790 million in a highly leveraged deal.
A vocal section of United's fans say the owners have held the club back by saddling it up with hefty debt repayments.
Criticism of the Glazers has been muted after United paid out a reported £24 million to sign Dutch striker Robin van Persie from Premier League rivals Arsenal in August.
United have won three of their first four league matches this season and are in second place behind Chelsea. – Reuters