United look set for record breaking year as turnover soars
MANCHESTER United look set for another record-breaking year off the pitch after posting a healthy 16.5pc increase in first-quarter turnover to €86.46m (£73.8m).
United reported growth in all areas, with the commercial side benefiting from the amazing £40mi deal with DHL to sponsor their training kit, helping it rise 22.3pc to £29.6m.
Media revenues were up from £19.4m to £22.6m, largely thanks to United's status as Premier League champions ensuring they get a larger share of the Champions League pot, and a lucrative five-match tour of the United States.
In addition, matchday income has also grown 9.6pc to £21.6m, thanks to the first complete sell-out of seasonal hospitality boxes since the plush Old Trafford quadrants were completed in 2006.
It leaves United's gross debt at £433.2m.
After posting turnover of £331.4m and profits of £110.9m last year, matching a campaign when they won the title and reached the Champions League final, where they were beaten by Barcelona, will not be easy given Manchester City's rise to prominence, including a 6-1 derby-day annihilation last month.
It places more emphasis on the commercial side, which has grown enormously thanks to a 'territorial' approach to marketing, which rival clubs may attempt to copy.
However, speaking last month, commercial director Richard Arnold was relaxed about that prospect.
"There is only one Manchester United," he said. "Whilst a lot of the strategy is public knowledge, I am very fortunate to be with the club I am with and able to do these deals.
"A lot of hard work has gone into getting to the position we are in now and we are already looking to the future.
"If people want to recreate what we did five years ago that is up to them.
"It isn't other clubs that I worry about; it is what we are going to be doing in the future."
United are also patting themselves on the back for securing five players on new contracts, including England international Chris Smalling and striking sensation Javier Hernandez, in addition to the summer arrivals of Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea.
However, there was no comment on speculation that Portugal winger Nani may be the next to benefit from an extension to his present deal, which is due to expire in 2014.
The position of £30.75m record signing Dimitar Berbatov also remains unresolved, with United still to confirm their intention to extend the Bulgarian's stay with the Red Devils by a further season, which under the terms of his present contract, which expires at the end of the season, they have the right to do.