SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS
· Winners of the SPL.
· Winners of the Scottish Cup.
· Progression to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League having played 6 home European matches (2012: 4).
· 30 home matches played at Celtic Park (2012: 24).
· Celtic Park selected to host the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
· New 3 year shirt sponsorship contract with Magners Irish Cider.
· 125 Anniversary celebrations.
· Group Revenue increased by 47.7% to £75.82m (2012: £51.34m).
· Operating expenses increased by 15.2% to £62.71m (2012: £54.44m).
· Investment in football personnel of £9.66m (2012: £5.24m).
· Year end net cash at bank £3.76m (2012: £2.77m net bank debt).
· Exceptional costs of £1.83m (2012: £0.54m).
· Profit before tax £9.74m (2012: £7.37m loss).
I am delighted to report that success on the field and, in particular, our European campaign have contributed to a very successful trading period.
These annual results show that in the year to end June 2013, turnover increased by £24.48m to £75.82m, which, after operating expenses of £62.71m, produced an operating profit of £13.10m and retained profits after tax of £9.74m, compared to a loss of £7.37m in the previous year.
This is not only a highly satisfactory result, but represents a five year record profit. Consistent with such a robust financial performance, our net cash at bank position at the year end was £3.76m, an improvement of £6.53m from the same time last year.
Whilst the undoubted highlight of last season was qualifying from the group stages and playing in the last sixteen of the UEFA Champions League, it is crucial that we were able to win the Scottish Premier League title for the second time in a row and get another shot at Europe. This has led to another successful qualification for the group stages with a highly memorable win against Shakhter Karagandy on 28 August at Celtic Park.
The momentum we build by competing in Europe at this level in two successive years is considerable, both financially and in terms of our player pool development strategy.
The dynamics derived from the Board’s strategy of developing the player pool, which I have been reporting on over successive statements, were employed fully throughout the financial year. We invested £9.66m in strengthening the first team squad, compared to £5.24m last year, and following the sales of players in the period, we made a gain of £5.19m, compared to £3.54m last time. Our new arrivals at Celtic Park during the financial year included; Efe Ambrose, Tom Rogic, (on a permanent basis) Fraser Forster, Amido Balde and Virgil Van Dijk. They were joined by Steven Mouyokolo, Derk Boerrigter, Nir Biton and Teemu Pukki during the summer transfer window.
Our decision, taken earlier in the financial year, not to accept offers for key players, so that we might maximise our chances of playing success, was a good one in hindsight. The relevant player disposals were made post the financial year end, during the summer transfer window.
Our strong financial performance has allowed us to invest funds across a number of other important areas, including the Youth Academy, with coaching staff, and the Stadium, where we have embarked upon a programme of upgrades that will be apparent this season. Our continued investment in the Youth Academy continues to deliver results at all levels, but special mention must be made of our Under 20 team, who won the league and cup double. The Academy continues to supply young players to the first team pool.
Throughout the journey we have been hugely mindful of our supporters, who have performed the role of the ‘twelfth’ man superbly at each and every crucial fixture, not least of all the recent encounter with Shakhter Karagandy. In recognition, we introduced a one off £100 award for all standard season ticket applications for season 2013/14 and this has been warmly received, with season ticket numbers in excess of those for season 2012/13.
This year demonstrates, above all, the impact that football success brings to Celtic plc in its current shape. The predominant focus of the board is to sustain a robust structure that can benefit fully from the fruits of playing success, yet withstand the economic pressures of today’s football environment in Scotland. The two key elements of that structure are responsible financial management for the long term, coupled with an intelligent player pool strategy.
We believe that we are achieving this standard and, in so saying, tribute must be paid to Neil Lennon, his support team and players, the coaching staff and assistants at the Academy, Peter Lawwell, his executive team, and all of the staff and employees of Celtic who work enthusiastically for this great Club.
Celtic was built on charitable foundations and we continue to recognise the importance of that ethos and the Club’s role in society. Throughout the year we provided the platform for an array of charitable initiatives. Honouring the objectives of the Club’s founders, it was fitting that, in its 125th anniversary year, the Club continued to support the Celtic Charity Fund, which did more for charitable and social causes than it has ever done before.
Finally, we have enjoyed tremendous support from our fans, sponsors, business partners and shareholders and I thank them all.
Ian P Bankier