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Manchester Utd. Profit Rises on Tax Credit, Sponsorship Deals

Manchester United Plc, the champion of English soccer’s Premier League, said fiscal third-quarter profit more than tripled after a tax credit and as the club benefited from additional sponsorship agreements.

Net income rose to 3.6 million pounds ($5.6 million), or 2 pence a share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with 1.1 million pounds, or a penny, in the year-earlier period, according to a Business Wire statement today.

Sales at the record 20-time English champion rose 30 percent to 91.7 million pounds, paced by a jump in commercial revenue as sponsorship income rose 52 percent. The team, which won the English title this season with four games to spare, signed agreements with two financial services companies and a social-game maker.

“Each of our three primary sectors -- commercial, broadcasting and matchday -- delivered strong top-line gains and helped us achieve a record third quarter,” Ed Woodward, the team’s executive vice chairman, said in the statement.

Gross debt declined 13 percent to 367.6 million pounds, the team said. It had 36.2 million pounds in cash at the end of the quarter, and there was a non-cash tax credit of 6.7 million pounds.

Staffing costs rose 25 percent in the period, pushing operating expenses up 19 percent to 79 million pounds, United said.

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