Manchester United Swings to Quarterly Profit

Will Soccer Royalty Score on Wall St.?

Manchester United, the legendary U.K. soccer club that American owner Malcolm Glazer filed papers July 3 to float on the New York Stock Exchange, would seem a smart investment. Forbes says David Beckham's former squad is worth $2.24 billion, more than the New York Yankees.

The English soccer club, which has a global following, posts record revenue for its fiscal first quarter.

LONDON - English soccer powerhouse Manchester United on Wednesday said it swung to a profit in its fiscal first quarter driven by higher revenue.

In its second earnings report since its IPO this summer, the club, which has a global fan base and calls itself "the world's most popular" soccer team, posted earnings of $32.5 million (£20.5 million). That compared with a year-ago loss of £5 million.
Revenue for the team known as the Red Devils rose 3.4 percent to a first-quarter record of $121 million (£76.3 million) driven by higher sponsorship, merchandising, digital media and match-day revenue. Match-day revenue benefited from hosting nine Summer Olympics soccer matches at the club's stadium.

But broadcasting revenue fell 37 percent. The company cited timing changes and its second-place finish in the English Premier League in the latest season, compared with the club's league win last year. 

Manchester United reiterated its guidance for the full fiscal year of operating cash flow growth of 17 percent-20 percent and revenue in the $568 million-$585 million range (£350 million-£360 million).

"‘Manchester United had a record first quarter driven by our commercial operation, which continues to experience extremely strong global revenue growth in new media and mobile, retail merchandising and sponsorship," said executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.

He also lauded the team's "strong start" to the new English Premier League season, which currently sees it in the top spot.

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