Man Utd losses widen due to COVID curbs

(Reuters) -Manchester United's full-year loss widened as pandemic-induced lockdowns hammered matchday sales and commercial revenue, the soccer club said, while not setting financial targets for the year due to continuing uncertainty.

The English soccer club’s last two financial years were marred by lockdowns that disrupted sporting calendars and kept fans away from stadiums for extended periods, taking a heavy toll on matchday sales.

"There is little doubt that those 12 months (fiscal 2021) were among the most challenging in the history of Manchester United," Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward said in prepared comments he will make to investors on a call this afternoon.

Total revenue for the year ended June 30 was down 2.9% to 494.1 million pounds ($681.41 million), while annual matchday sales plummeted 92.1%.

The club, who signed five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo from Italy's Juventus last month, saw a 16.8% fall in annual commercial revenue, although the club's largest segment of broadcasting revenue surged by 81.7%.

The English soccer club said its net loss for the year ended June 30 was 92.2 million pounds, compared with a loss of 23.2 million pounds in the year-ago period as the onset of COVID-19 in 2020 disrupted all walks of life globally.

The loss was inflated by a one-off taxation issue with the company's income tax expense for the period surging to 68.2 million pounds from 2.4 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7251 pounds)

(Reporting by Chris Peters and Aby Jose Koilparambil in BengaluruEditing by Keith Weir and Toby Davis)

09/17/2021 11:40

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