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Corporate Sep 18, 2012

Manchester United expects growth in revenue this year

London: English soccer club Manchester United said it expected revenue to grow in the current financial year after paying the price of a rare barren season on the field in 2011/12.

United, floated in New York last month, forecast its underlying earnings (EBITDA) should rise to 107-110 million pounds in 2012-13, while revenue was likely to be between 350-360 million pounds.

The figures were based on the assumption that United reached the quarter-finals of the European Champions League and domestic cup competitions.

Pic used for representational purposes only.

United failed to make it past the group stages of the Champions League last season, prompting a 16.5 percent fall in adjusted EBITDA to 91.6 million pounds. Total revenue dipped 3 percent to 320.3 million pounds in the year to June 30, 2012.

United shares were floated at $14 to value the 19-time English champions at $2.3 billion. However, they have slipped lower since the launch and have been trading under $13.

A mystery to most Americans, but a household name in soccer-loving parts of the world, the club opted for New York after ditching plans to float in Asia.

The listing was structured to leave the American Glazer family firmly in control of a club they bought in 2005 for 790 million pounds in a highly leveraged deal.

A vocal section of United's fans say the owners have held the club back by saddling it up with hefty debt repayments.

Criticism of the Glazers has been muted after United paid out a reported 24 million pounds to sign Dutch striker Robin van Persie from Premier League rivals Arsenal in August.

United have won three of their first four league matches this season and are in second place behind Chelsea.

Reuters

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