Celtic first-half revenue falls 24% to £41m

Celtic plc said on Monday its revenue fell 23.7% to £40.7 million in the six months to December 31, 2020, and it made a loss before tax of £5.9 million compared to a profit of £24.4 million in the same period of 2019.

Celtic’s shares have fallen about 35% over the past 12 months to around 95p on Monday — to give the company a current stock market value of about £90 million.

Celtic charman Ian Bankier said: “At the time of writing we currently sit second in the league 18 points behind the leaders having played one game less and with 10 games remaining.

“The prolonged summer transfer window, the impact of Covid-19 and, crucially, the loss of our passionate support at matches have undoubtedly had a damaging effect on our performance levels in domestic and European competitions, but we recognise that our performance has not been good enough.  

“Amidst this challenging environment, however, we secured victory in the postponed 2019/20 Scottish Cup Final to deliver an incredible fourth consecutive treble, following on from securing our ninth consecutive league title.

“The scale of this achievement cannot be underplayed and should be a cause for pride and celebration for years to come.

The two key factors that adversely affected our financial results for the period under review were: firstly, reduced gains from player trading as we sought to keep intact our squad this season; and, secondly, the unforeseen and prolonged value destructive impact of Covid-19.

“Our strategy for season 2020/21 was to invest in the team and to retain our best players, with the objective of delivering the league championship.

“As a result, gains from player trading were minimal.

“The effects of Covid-19 have persisted longer than many could have envisaged and, as a result, our crucial match day and other income streams derived from our stadium have been reduced to negligible proportions.

“These two factors largely explain the reduction in our profit before tax.

“No football club is immune from the effects of Covid-19.

Looking forward, the football and financial environment is still volatile and very uncertain because of the ongoing effects of Covid-19.

“At the time of writing, it is unclear when the 2020/21 Scottish Cup will re-commence following its suspension.

“Neither are we able to say at this stage when we will be able to welcome our supporters back to Celtic Park but we continue to work with the football authorities and the Scottish Government with a view to ensuring that fans are able to return to football safely as soon as possible.

“All of this will continue to affect our financial results meaning we are unable to offer any outlook guidance on revenue or earnings.

“Trading seasonality means that financial performance in the second half of the financial year will be lower than the first half owing to lower UEFA income along with less matches played.

I would like to thank our outgoing Chief Executive Peter Lawwell for his contribution to Celtic over the last 17 years.

“His role in transforming Celtic into a modern, highly respected European football club cannot be underestimated and has been nothing short of outstanding.

“It has been a pleasure to serve alongside him and we look forward to welcoming Dominic McKay as our new Chief Executive to continue to grow the club.

“Finally, on behalf of the board I would like to reiterate to our supporters, shareholders and partners that their support has been crucial over the last 12 months, in what has been one of the most challenging times for the club.

“We recognise their support and we thank them for the loyalty they have shown.”

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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.