Premier League – Arsenal profits rise to £24.5m
Arsenal have recorded pre-tax profits of £24.5 million for the six months ended November 30 2008, up £4.5m from the same period in 2007.
The robust performance strengthened the position of the club’s current ownership, which is under takeover pressure from Red and White Holdings, led by Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov, which recently upped its stake to 25 per cent.
The rise in profits came largely from increased revenue from the sale of Arsenal’s old Highbury stadium as flats, with the club’s property business bringing in a profit of nearly £5m following the sale of 186 apartments for £76.7m.
However, Arsenal warned that not all properties had been sold and that progress was slowing due to the recession and collapse of the housing market.
Arsenal saw an extra £3.3m matchday turnover as the Emirates Stadium hosted an additional Carling Cup fixture, while ticket prices rose 2.8 per cent. Broadcasting revenue also rose to the tune of £4.5m.
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “I am pleased to report that the six months to November 30 2008 has produced another strong set of financial results.
“Profits were ahead in both our football and property businesses and combined to deliver an overall pre-tax profit for the group of £24.5m compared to £20.0m for the equivalent period last year.
“I believe these results are all the better for having been achieved against a background of what is clearly a very difficult economic climate.
“Clearly there are some significant challenges ahead of us, both on and off the pitch, over the closing months of this financial year and beyond.”