Celtic returns to profit as revenue hits £52m

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier (left) and CEO Peter Lawwell

Celtic plc said its group revenue increased by 1.8% to £52 million in the year to June 30 and that it made a pre-tax profit of £500,000 compared to a loss of £3.9 million the previous year.

Celtic said it made a gain on sales of players of £12.6 million, up from £6.8 million in the previous year.

Transfers during the year included Celtic’s £11.5 million sale of Virgil van Dijk to Southampton.

Celtic shares closed down 1.8% on Monday at 72.15p, giving the company a current stock market value of around £67 million.

The firm’s operating expenses increased by 7.3% to £57.1 million and it made investments in “football personnel” of £8.8 million, compared to £9.4 million the year before.

Revenue from “football and stadium operations” fell to £25.1 million from £27.9 million, while merchandising revenue rose to £12.5 million from £11.6 million, and revenue from “multimedia and other commercial activities” rose to £14.2 million from £11.4 million.

Celtic’s exceptional operating expenses of £1.72 million included £715,000 for “compromise payments on contract termination.”

The company’s year-end net cash at the bank was £3.6 million, down from £4.7 million.

“The board continues to believe that the company’s self sustaining financial model provides the necessary stability to preserve the long term future of the club and player trading remains an important element of that model,” said Celtic chairman Ian Bankier.

Celtic plc chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “For a club like Celtic, operating in a market where television values have fallen significantly behind our neighbours across Europe, qualification for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League is of paramount importance.

“The financial rewards allow for investment in the playing squad and physical assets, but moreover, the prestige of participating in the premier club competition in the world reinforces the reach and importance of the club to so many people around the world.

“Fundamentally, Celtic is a Champions League club; our infrastructure and continued investment reflect that.

“At a time when the direction of travel in European football is towards elite level clubs, we must remain at the forefront of developments in the game domestically and across Europe.

“Celtic should be at the top of the game in Europe and the board and I have that objective as a priority.

“We continue to work tirelessly on seeking to improve the football environment in which the club operates.”