Arsenal 1st-Half Profit Falls by Half as Player Trades Decline

Arsenal said its first-half profit declined by more than 50 percent as the London soccer team made less from player sales and its property development costs rose.

Net income fell to 14.9 million pounds ($22.5 million), or 239.52 pounds a share, in the six months ended Nov. 30, compared with 38 million pounds, or 611.55 pounds a share, in the year-earlier period, the Premier League club said today on its website.

Arsenal’s profit from player sales declined 20.5 million pounds to 42.5 million pounds in the period after it sold captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona in 2011. The team’s operating costs from the redevelopment of its old Highbury Stadium jumped to 30.4 million pounds, from 2.7 million in the 2011 period. Total operating expenses rose 27 percent to 157.1 million pounds.

“Whilst we have our sights set on a 16th straight season in the Champions League, our aims are higher,” Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said in the statement. “Our ambition is to win trophies.”

The team is in fifth place in the Premier League, one spot out of the positions for Europe’s elite Champions League competition.

Arsenal had 123.4 million pounds in cash and deposits at the end of November 2012.

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