Half-time report

Transfer dealings boost profits at Celtic

Odsonne Edouard celebrates his second goal against Hearts in the Scottish Cup final
Net gain: Odsonne Edouard (with outstretched arms) helped boost income (pic: SNS Group)

Big money transfers helped Celtic swing back into profit at the interim stage despite losing out on income from the European Champions League.

The Parkhead club posted a pre-tax profit of £27.6million for the six months to the end of December compared to a loss of £5.9m for the corresponding period in the previous year. Revenue increased by 29.9% to £52.9m (2020: £40.7m).

Profits were boosted by the summer transfer of Odsonne Edouard to Crystal Palace and Kristoffer Ajer to Brentford. Profit from transfer of player registrations came in at  25.8m (2020: £1m), while profit from trading was £7m (2020: loss of £0.3m).

In a statement, chairman Ian Bankier said the improvement was down to the return of fans to the stadium, qualification for another season in the Europa League, and the revenue received from player trading.

“Whereas the Covid-19 environment has improved markedly, the sudden emergence of the Omicron variant and resultant reintroduction of temporary societal restrictions in Scotland adversely affected the football sector,” he said.

“This demonstrates our continued sensitivity to the threat of the pandemic. Mindful of the risks posed to the club’s finances from further restrictions, we continue to manage the business on a prudent basis, balanced against the benefits of investing in the football department.

“The forecast outturn for the second half of this financial year is expected to be more modest owing to the trading seasonality inherent in the business.

“As we know, most of our earnings are typically derived in the first six months of the financial year. In line with prior years, we expect to incur losses in the second six months of the financial year owing to the expectation of having less (sic) player trading gains, lower UEFA media right(s) distributions and associated UEFA match ticket income, higher amortisation emanating from player acquisitions in January, and seasonally lower retail income.

“In addition, our outturn earnings may be materially impacted by success in footballing competition. On the basis that the impact of Covid-19 appears to be receding at present, we anticipate to finish the financial year with revenues ahead of our previous expectations.”

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