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Manchester United Second-Quarter Profit Falls on Tax Charge

Manchester United, the soccer team that leads the English Premier League by 12 points, said second-quarter profit declined 61 percent because of a tax charge.

Profit from continuing operations was 16.2 million pounds ($25.1 million), or 10 pence a share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 42.1 million pounds, or 27 pence, in the year-earlier period, the team said in a statement. Revenue rose 8.7 percent to 110.1 million pounds after six new sponsorship deals.

The record 19-time English champion’s commercial revenue rose 29 percent to 35.6 million pounds, including sponsorship up 49 percent to 20.8 million pounds. That may get better, after United said it has a new eight-year agreement for its training uniform with an undisclosed sponsor. It ended a pact with delivery company DHL early to allow talks with other firms.

United said the new sponsor will announce details of the agreement “in the near future.”

Manchester United is having “extremely strong growth particularly in sponsorship,” Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman, said in the statement. The agreements were with Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co., the beverage group owned by China’s richest man Zong Qinghou, China Construction Bank Corp. and other companies in Asia.

United said a 12.1 million-pound non-cash tax charge, compared with a 22.9 million-pound tax credit in the previous second quarter, cut into this period’s results.

Champions League

United tied 1-1 at Real Madrid last night in the Champions League round of 16. The deciding part of the two-game contest is at Old Trafford in Manchester on March 5. United leads the Premier League with 12 games remaining with defending champion Manchester City in second place.

The northwest England team’s owners, the U.S.-based Glazer family, held an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in August, raising $233 million by selling 10 percent of the 135-year-old club at $14 per share. That was below the initial marketed range of as much as $20. The shares were down 0.9 percent at $18.55 at 12.50 p.m. in New York trading.

United said borrowing declined to 366.6 million pounds at the end of the year compared with 439 million pounds at the end of 2011.

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