Celtic H1 revenue up 30% to £53m; profit tops £27m

Celtic plc said on Friday its revenue increased 29.9% to £52.9 million in the six months to December 31, 2021, and profit before taxation was £27.6 million compared to a loss of £5.9 million in the first half of the previous year.

Profit from trading was £7 million and profit from the transfer of player registrations — shown as profit on disposal of intangible assets — was £25.8 million compared to £1 million a year earlier.

Period end net cash at bank of rose to £25.6 million from £19.7 million.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier wrote: “The major factors driving the much improved financial performance for the period under review were: – first, the return of fans to the stadium driving crucial match day income; second, our qualification for another season in the Europa League with the accompanying ticket sales that were absent last year; and third, the revenues received from successful player trading, notably the sales of Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer.

“In the same period we made substantial investments back into the player squad in order to target the football success that drives our financial success …

“The forecast outturn for the second half of this financial year is expected to be more modest owing to the trading seasonality inherent in the business.

“As we know, most of our earnings are typically derived in the first six months of the financial year.

“In line with prior years, we expect to incur losses in the second six months of the financial year owing to the expectation of having less player trading gains, lower UEFA media right distributions and associated UEFA match ticket income, higher amortisation emanating from player acquisitions in January and seasonally lower retail income.

“In addition, our outturn earnings may be materially impacted by success in footballing competition.

“On the basis that the impact of Covid-19 appears to be receding at present, we anticipate to finish the financial year with revenues ahead of our previous expectations.

It has been a period of transition for both the executive and the football department. 

“Michael Nicholson’s appointment as chief executive was confirmed on December 23 along with Chris McKay’s promotion to chief financial officer. 

“And our Football Manager, Ange Postecoglou, joined us at the start of the season. 

“Ange has been able to assemble a first team player squad to fit his proven methodology of attacking football. 

“We have achieved the permanent transfers of Osaze Urhoghide, Liam Shaw, Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi, Carl Starfelt, Joe Hart, Liam Scales, Josip Juranovic, James McCarthy and Georgios Giakoumakis.

“In addition, we welcomed to the club two quality loan signings in Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joao Pedro Neves Filipe (Jota).

“Further to this we added Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, Johnny Kenny, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley over December 2021 and January 2022.

As we progress through the season we are delighted to return to winning ways, securing the first silverware of the season, the Premier Sports Cup in December. 

“This is the 20th time Celtic has won this trophy. December also saw us finish third in the Europa League Group with a creditable 9 points in what was a difficult group.  

“We now enter the newly constituted Europa Conference League where we will play FK Bodo/Glimt.

“At the time of writing we sit at the top of the Premiership with 12 games remaining and we have reached the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

“We also note the progress which continues to be made by our women’s first team and in particular the magnificent achievement of winning the SWPL Cup in December 2021, the women’s team’s first trophy in over 10 years.

“We congratulate the players, Fran Alonso and his management team on this success and hopefully can look forward to further success in the near future.”