Hiberian profit from elite return

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The Independent Football

Hibernian have announced a £1.9m increase in turnover for their first season back in the Scottish Premier League.

Hibernian have announced a £1.9m increase in turnover for their first season back in the Scottish Premier League.

The club published their annual accounts yesterday, which showed turnover jumped to £5.3m, illustrating the financial divide between the Premier and the Scottish Football League.

The accounts for the year ended 31 July show a profit before interest and tax of £222,000 compared with a loss of more than £2.5m for the previous year which was spent in the First Division.

The managing director, Rod Petrie, said: "The good progress being made on the field by Alex McLeish and the redevelopment of Easter Road stadium are only possible because of the hard work and efforts of everyone at the club."

While the £2m sale of Kenny Miller to Rangers was a factor in achieving the profit, the club stressed that the board's business plan had budgeted for a loss during the financial year.

Hibernian admitted that they were under pressure to sell because the player wanted to join Rangers, but they also revealed a telling factor was the possible abolition of transfer fees under the European Commission proposals which the board took into account.

The decision has not back-fired, with McLeish's side only being beaten once since the start of the season - against Celtic on Saturday.

Attendances have also increased by almost 1,500 from their season in the SFL and they have made some impressive recent acquisitions in Ulrik Laursen, John O'Neil, Paul Fenwick, David Zitelli and Gary Smith.

The club also received further financial support from Sir Tom Farmer, with a new loan of £2m provided through the club's parent company.

* Scotland's women's football team will play four internationals next week with games lined up in the Netherlands on 18 and 19 September 18 against the hosts and Belarus before they take part in the Celt Cup tournament in Northern Ireland on 22 and 23 September.

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