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Budge offers upbeat message

Hearts in good shape despite operating loss

Ann BudgeHearts reported a £681,000 operating loss during their Championship winning season which saw higher income than in their previous campaign in the top flight.

Turnover was up £500,000 to £7m and debt fell by more than £1.5 million. The figures for the financial year to the end of June showed £3.8 million was spent on staff salaries.

The report and accounts will be presented to the agm on 3 December at Tynecastle stadium.

Chairman Ann Budge (pictured), marking a year since she and fans group Foundation of Hearts bought the club out of administration, said: “The 2014/15 playing season was a successful one for Heart of Midlothian football club, with the winning of the Championship league by a substantial margin of 21 points, thus ensuring the club’s place in the Premiership for 2015/16.

“Turnover increased by £470,000 to £7m, largely due to an increase in ticket income and commercial activity resulting from the on-pitch success.

“Staff costs rose by £900,000 as a result of an exercise to rebuild both the player and non-player base, with average full-time employee numbers increasing from 104 to 122 during the year.

“Other operating charges rose to £3.6m from £2.5m in the prior year, largely as a result of increased spend on key infrastructure repairs in the year and an increase in professional fees incurred in resolving the inherited 2012 share issue.

“The net cash inflow during the year of £1.97m was assisted by the ground-breaking new partnership with Save the Children.

“In addition, a working capital contribution of £1.47m was received from Foundation of Hearts Ltd.

“These significant cash inflows, together with increased cash received through season ticket sales, provide critical financial support for the continuation of the club’s impressive revival, with the monies helping to fund the work both on and off the pitch.

“The fixed costs of the business which are mainly football related payroll costs and the upkeep of the stadium are maintained with the constraints of the turnover figure.

“The company’s prudent budget and financial foundations allow us to confirm that we continue to meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play criteria.”

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