Parkhead finances

Celtic revenue increases to more than £85 million

Frustrations: Peter Lawwell

Celtic may be stuttering in their pursuit of another Premiership title but the club’s off-field performance is impressive with the latest financial report showing increased revenue of more than £85 million.

The interim accounts for the six months up to 31 December show a rise of 11 per cent in turnover from 2022, buoyed by participation in the Champions League where they faced Lazio, Atletico Madrid and Feyenoord.

Profit from trading rose to £32m, with expenditure on players £12.9m, and profit before tax was £30.3m. Celtic, who are now second in the table behind a resurgent Rangers, have £67.3m sitting in the bank.

Despite this, transfer activity in January was minimal, an issue addressed by chairman Peter Lawwell in the club statement confirming the latest finances.

He said: “From a funding perspective, the cash and cash equivalents balance reduced from £72.3m to £67.3m in the period under review.

“The board recognises the inherent inefficiencies of holding excess cash, and, in conjunction with other cash commitments, the importance of investing in strengthening the team to deliver football success. The board shares the frustrations of the supporters regarding the less than anticipated activity in the recent transfer window.

“Since the opening of the transfer window in June 2023, and up to the end of the winter transfer window which closed on 1st February 2024, we have committed £23.9m in player investment. Within this we renewed and extended the contracts of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Reo Hatate.

“The board’s commitment is to strengthen and improve the playing squad in every transfer window and although resources were available, we were unable to further add to the squad due to the unavailability of identified targets. This was disappointing to us all, and never the intention.”

He added: “The results for the six months ended 31 December 2023 show revenues of £85.2m (2022: £76.5m) and a profit from trading, representing the profit excluding other income and player-related gains and charges, amounting to £32.0m (2022: profit of £28.1m). The profit before finance income & expense and taxation amounted to £28.5m (2022: £33.8m).

“We benefited from Champions League qualification in both 2022 and 2023 and increased underlying revenue by £8.7m to £85.2m in the first half of 2023 relative to the same period last year. The key factors in this were higher UEFA distributions this year alongside a general incremental upturn in trading across almost all revenue streams. A significant portion of this revenue increase was re-invested into football wages and salaries resulting in the profit from trading of £32.0m noted above.

“Profit before finance income & expense and taxation fell to £28.5m, down from £33.8m in the prior year, despite the significant revenue increase. This is attributable to the increase in the football-related investment alongside the absence of a significant non-recurring insurance receipt recognised in the prior period.”

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