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Hearts returns to profit

Fri 13th May 2011 | Money & Finance

Heart of Midlothian Football Club (Hearts) has reported a return to profitability thanks to savings in staff costs and further investment from parent company Ukio Banko Investicine Grupe (UBIG) and related parties.

The figures were underpinned by a 13% reduction in employment costs to £9.12m (2009: £10.47m) and a 12% reduction in finance charges to £1.61m (2009: £1.82m), as detailed in the financial results for year end 31st July 2010.

A £7.9m investment by the club's main shareholder and related parties ensures that Hearts are also on course to meet future UEFA Financial Fair Play guidelines which are being phased in across Europe's clubs from season 2011/12 onwards.

Match day revenues increased to over £3.9m as Hearts consolidated its place as the third best supported team in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League - for the fifth consecutive season - with average home attendances well in excess of 14,000. Total revenue for the year dipped slightly however on the back of a disappointing sixth place league finish (2009: 3rd).

Operating costs increased marginally to £4.46m (2009: £4.3m) however these are expected to reduce significantly in the current financial year following a series of improvements to the effectiveness of the operating side of the business.

The profit of £39,000 (2009: loss of £8.63m) is the first profit reported by the club in 11 years. As well as expected operational cost reductions, the club also expects further improvements in underlying financial performance in the current financial year with the exit, at the end of last season, of some of the club's higher earners. Financial figures will also be boosted in the next financial year with the inclusion of the £10m debt-for-equity plan approved by shareholders in November 2010.

Increasing operational efficiencies will remain a key focus of the Board. In tandem with this the Board continues to investigate the related revenue generating opportunities through a redeveloped Tynecastle Stadium. The new retail franchise agreement with SRM is also strengthening financial margins from off field operations.

The Board would like to register its continuing gratitude to the support shown amongst all our stakeholders including shareholders, supporters, business associates and sponsors. We will continue to work in the interests of the club at all times and will endevour to bring success to the club both on and off field. We are also confident that the work we are currently involved in and the steps we are taking will deliver longer term benefits for Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

- Hearts reports £39,000 profit as club returns to the black
- Significant progress achieved in underlying annual operating performance
- £7.9m investment by UBIG and related parties
- £1.56m saving achieved in employment costs and finance charges
- Club on course to meet UEFA Financial Fair Play requirements
- Hearts remains 3rd best supported club in SPL for fifth consecutive season
- Gain on player trading for fifth consecutive year

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