The Investment column: Man Utd on the ball
Tuesday 08 April 1997
With profits up 42 per cent to pounds 15.7m before transfer fee income of pounds 3.7m, the business is performing with all the style of an Eric Cantona flick.
But there is nothing flash about the way the club is run. With average attendances up to 54,000 the club could sell the lot to season ticket holders.
But it retains 10,000 tickets for sale on match days to give "hope value" to its 105,000 club members.
It is these "occasional" visitors who spend their money in the club shop, buy a programme and dine out at the Red Cafe after a visit to the Manchester United museum.
Gate receipts, television money and sponsorship funds are all up strongly. And the appointment of a new deputy chief executive to further the brand overseas is encouraging. The club is already looking at merchandise opportunities in the Far East while at home it is talking to three parties about the possibility of a dedicated Manchester United pay-per-view channel.
Further out, the club may need to look at diversification as its cash pile - currently standing at pounds 22m - continues to grow. But for now there is plenty of room for growth with the core business. If there is a problem it is spiralling wage costs in the aftermath of the Bosman ruling.
But the shares - up a penny at 642p yesterday - have come off their peak in the last couple of months after a terrific run. With analysts forecasting profits of pounds 27.5m they trade on a forward rating of 20. Still worth holding.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...