Manchester United announce record quarterly revenue of £141m despite soaring wage bill

Manchester United offered no indication of what funds will be available to manager Jose Mourinho in January as the club announced record financial results.

The latest set of accounts published on Thursday, which cover the quarter ending September 30, showed the club brought in total revenue of £141million.

That represented a 17 per cent increase on the £120.2million figure recorded for the same period last year.

United spent around £145million on player signings ahead of the new campaign, bringing in striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton, midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea and defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

Mourinho prepared the squad for a return to the Champions League after winning the Europa League last season. The departure of Adnan Januzaj to Real Sociedad and other sell-on clauses brought in £17.3million.

Mourinho could target further additions in the January transfer window, and it remains to be seen whether players will need to be sold to facilitate any new deals or match net spending targets.

Following Thursday’s announcement, chief financial officer Cliff Batty joined United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in a conference call with investors.

One investor’s question concerned the net player CapEx (capital expenditure) for the full year.

Batty said: "When we announced our fourth-quarter results, which was September, that was the end of the transfer window and we gave a figure that was £95million, that was the net player CapEx at that point for the year of 2017-18.

"We don’t guide on that figure because things can obviously move, but that’s the actual position as we are now for the year before we get into the transfer window in January, whether we do any activity or not."

In his statement to the conference call, Woodward said the club’s black change strip "represents the fastest-selling away kit Manchester United has ever released".

United’s figures showed that player wages have risen as a result of their Champions League return.

Commercial revenue for the quarter was £80.5million, an increase of £6.2million, which was boosted by five tour matches across the United States, including fixtures against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Real Madrid and Barcelona as well as domestic rivals Manchester City.

There was also a 30 per cent increase in broadcasting revenue compared to the same quarter last year, with the Champions League return again a key factor.

Total operating expenses for the quarter were reported at £143.1million, up by £20.9million year on year.

These figures include an increase of £7.6million in "employee benefit expenses", which the club said is "primarily due to player salary uplifts due to participation in the UEFA Champions League".

Net income for the period was listed at £7.9million.

Net debt was listed as £268.1million at September 30, 2017, a decrease of £69.6million over the year, while United’s parent holding company also reported fiscal revenue for the 2018 fiscal year was expected to be between £575million and £585million.

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