Arsenal Holdings plc - Results for the six months ended November 30 2008

  • Profit before tax of £24.5m (2007 - £20.0m excluding exceptional costs) with increased contributions from both the Group’s football and property businesses
  • Increase in football match day turnover of £3.3m to £44.4m thanks to an additional Carling Cup fixture, higher revenue from the Emirates Cup tournament and increase of 2.8% in ticket prices
  • Broadcasting revenues up £4.5m to £28.9m benefiting from a higher number of live TV games, the season to season step change in Premier League TV contracts and favourable rates of exchange on the € / £ conversion of Champions League distributions
  • Overall pre-tax profit from the Group’s core business of football increased to £19.7m (2007 - £19.1m)
  • Although conditions in the property sector are challenging the Group’s property business recorded a pre-tax profit of £4.9m (2007 - £0.9m). Construction of Highbury Square is nearing completion; two of the four stands have been released with the sales of 186 apartments with a value of £76.7m having completed so far (sales to 30 November 2008 were £58.1m)
  • There is, inevitably, some backlog of Highbury Square completions as a consequence of the difficult conditions in the property market and tightening of mortgage availability. The receipt of part of the sales proceeds over a longer term than originally expected means there is a probable need to extend the term of the Highbury Square bank loan and discussions with the banking syndicate are at a preliminary stage

Commenting on the interim results, Peter Hill-Wood, non-executive chairman, said:

“I am pleased to report that the six months to 30 November 2008 has produced another strong set of financial results. Profits were ahead in both our football and property businesses and combined to deliver an overall pre-tax profit for the Group of £24.5 million compared to £20.0 million for the equivalent period last year. I believe these results are all the better for having been achieved against a background of what is clearly a very difficult economic climate.”

“Clearly there are some significant challenges ahead of us, both on and off the pitch, over the closing months of this financial year and beyond.  We are closely monitoring the position with a view to ensuring, as we always have done, that the Group is on a robust footing and ready to respond to any challenges this exceptional economic climate may bring.”

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26 Feb 2009