Ed Woodward, Manchester United's executive vice-chairman, said on Friday (13 May) that the club was on track to break the £500m barrier in terms of annual revenue, after posting record figures in the third quarter.
In the three months to the end of March, United posted a 29.9% increase in revenue to £123.4m, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation surged 76.8% to £44.9m.
United's commercial revenue in the third quarter grew 37.7% year-on-year to £66m, while broadcasting revenue was up 28% to £28m. Over the three month period, matchday revenue was up 16.9% from the corresponding period in 2015 to £30m.
That concludes the call. Much as he did three months ago, Woodward did not mention Van Gaal once, nor was he questioned about the Dutchman's future by any of the investors.
Woodward is really keen to hammer home the point United are pleased with the recent developments in their youth sector. "The academy continues to deliver players in the first-team that helps us with our net transfer spend."
Woodward tells investors: "We will always invest in the squad [...] so we are challenging for titles." He adds transfers fees have increase over the last couple of seasons due to "inflation" and the "retooling United have done".
Woodward says the 10-year kit deal with Adidas, worth £750m, will not be affected if United miss out on Champions League football this season. There will, however, be consequences if United fail to qualify for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.
First question from investors asks the club to quantify the impact of missing out on Champions League and qualifying for the Europa League instead. United expect it to be in the mid-single digit region in terms of on matchdays revenue, with a £30m revenue hit in terms of broadcasting revenue. "Overall impact high single digits."
United now expect a 40% rise in TV revenue between 2017-2019, due to the new Premier League TV deals. Club reiterates revenue guidance for the full year, saying it expects to be between £500m and £510m.
Citing the likes of Marcus Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lingard, Woodward reiterates youngsters have made an impact on United this season. "Three of our first team regulars - Lingard, Rashford and Borthwick-Jackson have been here since they were 8-year-old," he says. He goes on to add United have won three U21 Premier League titles in the last four seasons and indicates United will focus on strengthening their academy.
Ed Woodward will take questions from investors in just over five minutes. You can listen to the conference call here by clicking on the box on the right. In February, Woodward stated United's continued commercial strength will enable the club to compete at the highest level.
This week marked the 11th anniversary of the Glazer family's controversial takeover of United. The American owners have now pocketed yet another nice little earner.
United reported net cash generated from operating activities for the third quarter was £5.9m, an increase of £20.9m over the third quarter of 2015, thanks to an increase in profit. Meanwhile, capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment for the third quarter fell £0.1m from the corresponding period last year to £0.2m
Net player and other intangible assets capital expenditure for the third quarter rose £5.1m to £16.1m.
Now for some slightly positive news, as operating expenses have risen 3.2% year-on-year to £102.2m. United's presence in the Champions League, brief as it was, and contract renewals have seen employee benefit costs rise 12% to £56.2m.
Meanwhile, other operating costs have risen 14.9% to £22.3m, due to "retail, merchandising, apparel and licensing costs now being recognised in-house, plus an increase in matchday costs as a result of playing two UEFA competition home games".
Depreciation for the third quarter was unchanged from the previous year at £2.5m, while amortisation for the third quarter was £21.2m, down 17.5% year-on-year.
Some more details on United's broadcasting revenue, which rose 28.1% year-on-year to £27.8m. The club attributed the increase to extended participation in UEFA competitions - United were knocked out of the Champions League in December but played four Europa League games over February and January - and also due to one additional Premier League match being televised.
Two of those Europa League games, against FC Midtjylland and Liverpool, were played at home and were the major contributor behind the 16.9% increase in matchday revenue.
Van Gaal was, however, mentioned in United's report this time last year when the future looked a lot brighter for both the club and the manager.
Those expecting the publication of United's third quarter results to shed light on Louis van Gaal's future have been left disappointed so far, as the Dutchman has not been mentioned at all. However, it is worth remembering than Woodward did not address the Dutchman's performance neither during the presentation of the club's first quarter results nor in similar circumstances three months later.
Unsurprisingly, United's record off the pitch is far more impressive than their performances on it over the last three seasons. Woodward might be criticised for his record when it comes to signing players but retains the Midas touch when dealing with sponsors.
The 37.7% increase in commercial revenue can be traced back to the five new sponsorship deals United announced over the last quarter. The new commercial partners include:
- New Global deals with Gulf Oil International and 20th Century Fox
- Regional deal with YouC1000 (isotonic drinks partner in Indonesia)
- MUTV deal with Sina Sports in China
- Renewal of partnership with Yanmar
Woodward is delighted by the emergence of a new crop of young players.
"The conclusion to this year's season demonstrates once again why the Premier League is the most popular league in the most popular sport," he says.
"As we reflect on our season, we are delighted by the emergence of yet another crop of exciting young players that demonstrate once again our terrific track record of youth development.
"We are looking forward to the FA Cup final on May 21st and hopefully winning this special trophy for a record equaling twelve times."
United's commercial revenue in the third quarter grew 37.7% year-on-year to £66m, while broadcasting revenue was up 28% tO £28m. Over the three months between January and March, matchday revenue was up 16.9% from the corresponding period in 2015 to £30m.
United have posted record quarterly results in the third quarter of 2016, with revenue up 29.9% to £123.4m, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation surged 76.8% to £44.9m.
Good morning and welcome to our coverage of Manchester United's third quarter results. United are expected to announce yet more growth in revenue as they target to break the £500m (€635.1m, $720.8m) in annual revenue for the first time ever. Vice-chairman Ed Woodward will then take a call from investors at 1pm GMT, when he could be facing some difficult questions related to Louis van Gaal's future.