Celtic revenue falls 16% to £70m as profit disappears

Celtic plc said on Monday its revenue fell 15.8% to £70.2 million in the year to June 30, compared with £83.4 million revenue in the previous year.

In 2018, the company had sales revenue of £101.6 million.

Profit before taxation in the year to June 30 crashed to a mere £100,000 from £11.3 million in 2019.

Operating expenses including labour decreased 7.3% to £80.5 million and the company’s gain on the sale of player registrations rose to £24.2 million from £17.7 million the previous year.

Celtic plc’s share price has fallen around 35% over the past 12 months to give the firm a current stock market value of about £100 million, according to Reuters data.

Celtic plc chairman Ian Bankier said: “The overwhelming event in the year under review was the emergence of Covid-19 and the attendant restrictions on social movement and trade. 

“This has had an adverse impact on our operations and our balance sheet. 

“At the time of writing we, like many football clubs and indeed many businesses, are still grappling with the challenges the pandemic presents including the near term uncertainty.

“However, the board continues to monitor the situation closely, taking proactive measures to ensure the club and our colleagues remain safe and is in the best position to allow football to continue.

“The SFA and the SPFL suspended football at all levels on 13th March 2020 … 

“Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has had a material detrimental effect on the financial results and the year ended 30 June 2020 saw revenue fall to £70.2m (2019: £83.4m) and profit before tax fall to £0.1m (2019: £11.3m).

“As discussed in more detail in the Strategic Report, this was largely attributable to the value destructive impact of the pandemic across many aspects of our business.

“Nevertheless, these results are satisfactory in the circumstances at hand.

“Our year end cash net of bank borrowings was £18.2m (2019: £28.6m).

“Post year end we also took the opportunity to increase our existing revolving credit facility from £2m to £13m to provide a further buffer should it ever be required …

“As we look ahead, our immediate priorities are to work with the football authorities and Government to have fans return to watching football in our stadium in a safe manner.

“Having qualified for the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League against a challenging backdrop of single leg qualification ties, we are matched against AC Milan, Lille and Sparta Prague in what is sure to be both a testing and exciting, group stage. 

“Domestically, the overriding objective is to win our tenth consecutive league title.”

Celtic plc CEO Peter Lawwell, said: “The year ahead is unpredictable and Celtic are not immune to the extent of the challenges that we could face at many levels.

“Whilst we will continue to invest and not deviate from our strategy, we are also cognisant that we may have to endure the Covid-19 restrictions for longer than we would all hope and therefore must balance our desire to progress the club against long-term sustainability.

“The transfer market is likely to be unpredictable as clubs around Europe struggle to adapt and many of the key stakeholders in European football are expected to be inward facing and adopting defensive strategies.

“It is important that Celtic’s interests and that of Scotland’s are represented within European football and through my role at the European Club Association, I will continue to promote these interests.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.