AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) -- English soccer champion Manchester United PLC projected Wednesday that it will generate revenues over $650 million in the current financial year as it posted record full-year revenues.
United pointed to the enduring success of its commercial operation in helping to maintain the club as a force on and off the pitch.
However, United is currently in a transition period as David Moyes has replaced Alex Ferguson after more than 26 years as manager. Ferguson stood down in May after the club won its 20th English league title, two more than any other.
Moyes will be hoping the club's financial strength will help him replicate the success of his predecessor. Owned by the American-based Glazer family, United reported a 13 percent rise in revenue to 363.2 million pounds ($578 million) in the year to June 30. It expects that to soar to between 420 million pounds ($669 million) and 430 million pounds ($686 million) in 2013-14.
United reported a net profit of 17.2 million pounds ($27 million) from 4.5 million pounds ($7 million) the year before, while the cash balance rose by a third to 94.4 million pounds ($151 million),
The club's gross debt dropped by 11 percent to 389.2 million pounds ($622 million), although the cost of serving those liabilities rose to 71 million pounds ($113 million) in the year.
"We are comfortable with the leverage levels where we are," executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said on an investor call.
Woodward said the club delivered on its targets and objectives during its first year listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Commercial income alone grew by 30 percent during the year to 152.5 million pounds ($244 million) as 20 sponsorship deals were announced.
"Our commercial business continues to be a very powerful engine of growth enabling the team to continue to be successful," Woodward said in a statement. "We won our 20th English League title last season and are delighted to have David Moyes lead our football team into a new and exciting chapter."
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