Gunners unveil healthy results

Arsenal’s parent public limited company have produced “healthy” interim financial results over the six months to the end of November 2005.

Group turnover for Arsenal Holdings plc increased to £57m (€83m), up from the 2004 figure of £49.3m, while profit before tax was up to £14.7m (€21m) from £2.7m (€4m).

The departure of captain Patrick Vieira to Juventus over the summer saw a leap in profit from player transfers to £13.5m (€20m), up from just £800,000 (€1.17m) for the same period the previous year.

Most of Arsenal’s current financial commitments are tied up with their move to the new Emirates Stadium in Ashburton Grove.

The construction and fit-out of the 60,000-seater venue continues to progress on schedule to be opened in the summer, with more than 18,000 season tickets already allocated, all executive boxes are reserved and pre-sale of ‘Club Level’ seating at 90%.

Work behind the scenes is also ongoing with Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland to progress plans for the refinancing of the senior bank loan – £195.7m (€287m) - used to fund the Emirates Stadium development into a longer-term, 25-year bond structure at a lower interest rate.

Meanwhile, there has been a successful launch of the sales process which will see some 711 residential apartments replace Arsenal’s current home in the Highbury Square development.

Commenting on the results, Arsenal Holdings plc non-executive chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “The Group has completed another successful period with our new home – Emirates Stadium – continuing to progress on schedule and the successful sales launch of our unique Highbury Square residential development.

“Overall the results show that the Group is in a very healthy financial position.”

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