United announce 17 per cent fall in operating profit to £36.5m for three months up to December 31, 2019
Tuesday 25 February 2020 18:42, UK
Ed Woodward says Manchester United have the foundations for long-term success with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - despite a fall in operating profits and recorded revenues.
United are still in contention for Europa League and FA Cup glory, though they sit fifth in the Premier League - an eye-watering 38 points behind table-topping rivals Liverpool.
The big-money January arrival of Bruno Fernandes has increased optimism around the club and Woodward believes United are on the right track.
"We are pushing for a strong finish in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup as we enter the final third of the season," he said.
"We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild, with many changes in terms of players that we have brought in and players that have come through our academy; the foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole."
Woodward made his comments as United released their second-quarter 2020 fiscal results.
The club reiterated their revenue guidance for the year of between £560m and £580m, while net debt is up 23.2 per cent to £391.3m.
The club say the increase of £73.6m over the year is "primarily due to an overall decrease in cash and cash equivalents" and that "the gross USD debt principal remains unchanged".
United recorded revenues of £168.4m in the second quarter - down 19.3 per cent on the same period the previous year - and an operating profit of £36.5m, which is down 17 per cent due in no small part to the lack of Champions League football.
But commercial revenues are up seven per cent, including 11.9 per cent in sponsorship, following recent deals with Alibaba and Mondelez International.
Sky Sports News' North West reporter James Cooper reflects on United's quarterly results.
The real impact of having no Champions League football has hit home for Manchester United, following the release of their second-quarter fiscal results.
Broadcasting revenues were down by 37.6 per cent, a drop of £64.7m. That reduction affects the bottom line of profits which have dropped by 17 per cent to £36.5m, on the flip side, the fact United are not in UEFA's top competition means they have paid less in wages.
Figures like these are a reminder of how important the race for the top four or even five in the Premier League is for next season, especially when failing to qualify for the Champions League again would see Adidas also pay a reduced figure for their sponsorship.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward reiterated this is a season of rebuilding and that the process of bringing in big-money purchases to play alongside academy products will continue.
Big numbers are expected in the race to be the name on the front of the Manchester United shirt, negotiations are already happening and it seems likely there will be an increase on the £450m Chevrolet stumped up back in 2014.
Another figure United fans look out for is the debt. This has increased substantially, up by £73.6m to £391.3m. It is a reflection of a variety of factors but the club are keen to stress that the US Gross debt remains unchanged and is at a "manageable level".