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Celtic PLC Final Results

14 August 2009

Provided by: Regulatory News Service


RNS Number : 4854X

Celtic PLC

14 August 2009



Preliminary Results for the year ended 30 June 2009


Operational Highlights

* Winners of the Co-operative Insurance Cup

* Participation in the Group stages of the UEFA Champions League playing 3 home

European fixtures (2008: 5)

* Season ticket sales of 54,252 (2008: 53,517) following a price freeze and

introduction of low-priced concession tickets

* 26 home matches played at Celtic Park in the year (2008: 28)

* Appointment of Tony Mowbray as football manager.

* NIKE'S appointment as kit manufacturer extended for 5 years until 2015

Financial Highlights

* Group revenue reduced by 0.5% to GBP72.59m (2008: GBP72.95m)

* Operating expenses reduced by 4.3% to GBP61.36m (2008: GBP64.09m)

* Profit from trading before asset transactions and exceptional operating expenses

of GBP11.23m (2008: GBP8.86m)

* Exceptional operating expenses of GBP2.78m (2008: GBP3.19m)

* Gain on disposal of intangible assets of GBP1.55m (2008: GBP5.70m)

* Profit before taxation of GBP2.00m (2008: GBP4.44m)

* Year end bank debt of GBP1.51m (2008: GBP3.52m) net of cash

* Investment of GBP8.53m (2008: GBP5.11m) in the acquisition of football players.

For further information contact:


| Dr John Reid, Celtic plc | Tel: 0141 551 4235 |


| Peter Lawwell, Celtic plc | Tel: 0141 551 4235 |


| Iain Jamieson, Celtic plc | Tel: 0141 551 4235 |


| | |



I am pleased to report on the Company's performance in the year to 30 June 2009.

It was a year of great challenges, promise and expectation, both financially and

from a football perspective. The financial storm of 2008/2009 has been weathered

successfully, so far, but our objective of achieving four SPL championships in a

row was not fulfilled; once again we have seen just how closely fought the SPL

title can be. Losing the SPL title and the accompanying direct entry place to

this year's Champions League to our greatest rivals is not easy to accept; it is

not in our nature to be satisfied with second best.

It is a measure of how far we have come in recent years, and the high standards

that have been set, that our football fortunes in a year in which we won the CIS

Cup, participated once again in the Group Stages of the UEFA Champions League

and challenged until the very last for a fourth consecutive SPL title, could be

described as mixed. This highlights the contribution and achievements of Gordon

Strachan and his backroom staff in their time with the Club, for which we thank


The new management team have much to live up to, but we firmly believe that Tony

Mowbray and his coaching staff are the right choice to take the Club forward.

From a financial perspective our results for the year continue to provide us

with a solid footing and remain highly creditable. Turnover, at GBP72.59m, was

on a par with the GBP72.95m of 2007/2008, despite playing only 26 home games

rather than the 28 of the year before. Merchandising sales improved and

multi-media sales increased. Operating expenses reduced by 4.3% in the year

(GBP2.74m) to GBP61.36m. Exceptional operating expenses of GBP2.78m were

incurred, mainly relating to player impairment values and costs from onerous

contracts and employment contract terminations. These are good results in the

present economic context.

Gains on player trading of GBP1.55m this year against GBP5.70m last time, and

higher amortisation costs from investment in players, offset by the savings in

operating expenses, result in our profit before tax of GBP2.00m compared with

GBP4.44m the year before. Our year end bank debt, net of cash, was GBP1.51m,

down from GBP3.52m the previous year.

Investment in players increased from GBP5.11m to GBP8.53m, reflecting our policy

of and commitment to strengthening the team within the parameters of a

sustainable financial model. Put simply, last year we brought in less from

selling players and spent more in bringing in new players than in the previous

year. At 53.4% the ratio of total labour cost to turnover has been maintained at

the same level as last year - reflecting a total outlay on labour of


These results have been achieved in trying and often frustrating circumstances

and substantially in reliance upon the tremendous contribution of the Celtic

support. In football, at home and abroad, and in other fields, many

organisations are in financial difficulty. We have placed a premium on financial

prudence in order to safeguard this Club for future generations.

Unlike other sectors, the football transfer market has not been depressed by

recessionary influences; indeed wages for good quality players, as well as

transfer fees have increased, buoyed mainly by the broadcasting money available

in England. The Scottish broadcasting deal negotiated by the SPL with Setanta

last summer - although in no way as lucrative as that offered by SKY in England

- was held out as a substantial increase on the agreement then in place. Celtic

did not support that new agreement, preferring the SKY option. We believed that

in selecting Setanta instead of SKY in the competitive bid process, an

opportunity for the SPL to benefit from the greater status, stability, reach and

financial resources of one of the world's largest broadcasters was lost, as

became apparent when Setanta entered into administration just after the end of

the season. The recently agreed arrangements with SKY / ESPN are significantly

less than could have been the case had SKY's offer been accepted last year, and

are a hard lesson in what could and should have been a far more positive outcome

for all of the SPL clubs.

This only adds to the many challenges we face in the coming season: money is

tight for all of our customers; much of Scottish football is now edging along

the narrow line of solvency; we must continue to seek to ensure that supporters

are satisfied that they are receiving value for the money that they are asked to

spend; and, for ourselves, we face a difficult path to our initial goal of

Champions League Group Stage qualification.

We will face those challenges undaunted. As a result of a magnificent away

performance in Moscow earlier this month we are assured of further European

football this season. I believe that is of great importance to our fans.

I also believe that although we have a strong financial base, we cannot be

immune from the pressures that weigh on our supporters and their families.

Accordingly, Season Ticket prices have been frozen again this year and we have

retained the extensive concessionary schemes introduced last year, as part of

the family aspect of Celtic Football Club and our policy of attracting the

supporters of the future. A record 54,252 season tickets were sold last season,

up on 53,517 the year before. Our season ticket sales so far are encouraging but

we will have to work extremely hard to match our performance last year. Your

support in doing so will be vital.

The difficult economic circumstances are no reason for us to cut back on our

Foundation and Charity work. Indeed in many ways these become more important in

times of greater deprivation. That is why I am delighted that the Celtic

Foundation continues to tackle social inequality in many fields, with over 6,500

young people and adults participating in its programmes each week and a

staggering 1,250,000 young people and adults having been involved in some way

with its work since its activities began in May 2003. Celtic Charity Fund has

again had a major effect on the lives of many of the least fortunate in society,

both at home and abroad, with almost GBP446,500 donated in cash to good causes

in the year. As a sum equivalent to 0.61% of Group turnover this year, we are

well on our way to achieving the target of 0.7% I set for us at last year's AGM,

a commendable effort during an economic recession. I am proud that over the last

12 months the Club has been involved in more charitable, educational and

community work than it has at any other time in its history.

This coming year sets us further football challenges. We look forward very much

to working with our new manager Tony Mowbray and his team. Tony is in the

process of rebuilding the squad. In recent weeks we have been joined by new

faces on the playing staff, including Fortune, N'Guemo and Fox. We will continue

to seek to strengthen where we can and within our means, and to invest for the

longer term in youth development, scouting, and sports science as we have done

in previous years. The first full year of operations at Lennoxtown has been very

successful and we will be investing further sums in pitch facilities during the

year. Attractive, exciting and, importantly, winning football is something that

our fans expect, and we aim to provide.

My fellow director, Brian McBride will not be standing for re-election at this

year's AGM, after almost 5 years on the Board. I record my own and the Club's

appreciation to Brian.

I also express my personal thanks to our supporters, customers, shareholders and

staff for their continuing outstanding contribution to maintaining the

traditions, standards, success and vibrancy of this great Club.

Dr John Reid


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Celtic PLC Final Results

14 August 2009



Operational Highlights

* Winners of the Co-operative Insurance Cup

LOL - that is absolutely fantastic - their highlight of the year was the CIS Cup - bbwwaahhhaaaa! :21:

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Guest The Brown Brogue

Next years will make interesting reading with increased expenditure on players/staff, a fall in season ticket sales and (fingers) crossed no champions league money.

Seems to me they have been pretty much breaking even every season even with european money included, so I would expect their debt to have increased by 8-10 million quid by this time next season.

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Next years will make interesting reading with increased expenditure on players/staff, a fall in season ticket sales and (fingers) crossed no champions league money.

Seems to me they have been pretty much breaking even every season even with european money included, so I would expect their debt to have increased by 8-10 million quid by this time next season.

Yep. We could actually see a season where the difference between the debt levels could become negligible. The likelihood is that both clubs will be about the £5m -£15m band.

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