Celtic first-half revenue up 45% to £76.5m

Celtic plc announced its revenue increased 44.8% to £76.5 million in the six months to December 31, 2022, and profit before taxation rose to £33.9 million from £27.6 million.

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell said: “The profit from trading, representing the profit excluding player related gains and charges, amounted to £28.1m (2021: profit of £7.0m).

The key factors driving the improvement in the underlying trading performance in the six months to 31 December 2022 compared to the same period last year, was the direct qualification to the UEFA Champions League Group stages. 

“This was the key driver in our revenue increase over the same period last year which reflected UEFA Europa League Group stage participation.

“Gains from player trading this year of £1.8m (2021: £25.8m) were notably lower, reflecting our strategy of assembling a new football playing squad under our Football Manager, Ange Postecoglou.

“Period end net cash at bank was £59.2m (2021: £25.6m).

“After adjusting for a net trading balance on prior inbound and outbound transfers, this sum reduces to £50.2m at December 2022 (2021: £39.7m). The introductory page to these interim results summarises the key events in the period.

This year is the second season under Ange and the success delivered in season 2021/22 in securing the SPFL title ensured we qualified directly for the UEFA Champions League Group stages for season 2022/23.

“This allowed us to plan and execute our transfer business early.

“Following from the permanent signings of Daizen Maeda, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joao Pedro Neves Filipe (Jota), we went on to sign Alexandro Bernabei, Sead Haksabanovic, Aaron Mooy, Benjamin Siegrist and brought in loan signings Oliver Abildgaard and Moritz Jenz.

As the season got underway in August, we were presented with a tough Champions League Group stage draw, alongside 14 times Champions League winners Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Despite a number of strong footballing performances we all shared Ange’s disappointment in not progressing further, but took heart from the competitive performances and experience gained by our young team which will serve them well in future European competition.

On domestic footballing matters, we currently sit 9 points ahead at the top of the SPFL Premiership, have reached the Viaplay Cup Final and have reached the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

“We sit in a satisfactory position domestically, but strive to keep improving as a club and during the January transfer window we further added to the squad by signing Alistair Johnston, Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata (loan with obligation to buy) and Hyeongyu Oh.

“Josip Juranovic, Oliver Abildgaard, Moritz Jenz, Scott Robertson and Giorgos Giakoumakis moved on to continue their careers elsewhere and we wish them all the best for the future …

“As we look ahead, our immediate priority is to secure domestic success for season 2022/23, with a view to progressing into the Champions League Group stages for a second consecutive year.

“We also wish to build upon the progress made in our Academy and the Women’s team, and are currently exploring development opportunities at our Barrowfield training ground with a view to enhancing the facilities for these squads.

We will also continue to contribute to the development of UEFA European Club Competition through participation in the European Club Association.

“The forthcoming changes to European Club Competition from 2024 onwards bring a number of exciting changes that we will embrace and look to take advantage of.

In line with the seasonality inherent in our earnings profile, the second half of the financial year will see losses incurred, as our earnings are biased toward the first half of the financial year.

“These losses however will be in part mitigated by gains on player trading realised from the January 2023 transfer window along with greater revenue from operating activities than was previously anticipated.  

“The bias in earnings towards the first half of the financial year reflects the fact that UEFA distributions and UEFA match ticket income are largely recognised in the first half of the financial year and as in previous years, the second half of the financial year typically sees lower retail sales.

“Our outturn earnings can also be materially impacted by football success and the year end assessment of player registration carrying values.

“Taking all of this into consideration, we would expect our total outturn profit before tax for the year ending 30 June 2023 to be significantly lower than the result posted for the first six months of the financial year.”