LONDON (AFP) - English football giants Manchester United announced record financial results on Wednesday after a year of rapid commercial expansion.
Having added a glut of new sponsors to their portfolio over the past 12 months, the 20-time English champions saw revenues rise 29.7 per cent to £152.5 million for the year ending June 30, 2013.
The leap in revenues helped the club from the English northwest register a 13.4 per cent increase in turnover to a club-record figure of £363.2 million (S$730.4 million), while debt fell 10.9 per cent to £389.2 million.
United floated on the New York stock exchange last year, in a bid to tackle the huge debt loaded onto the club by American businessman Malcolm Glazer's takeover in 2005.
Sponsorship revenue alone in the 2012-13 period rose 44.1 5 to £90.9 million.
The club revealed that "exceptional items" costs of £6.2 million were partly due to the contracts of coaching staff members Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele being cancelled following the departure of long-serving manager Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.
United expect their revenue to surpass the £430 million mark next year, provided the club meet the fairly modest objective of a top-three finish in the Premier League and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
"For fiscal 2014, Manchester United expects revenue to be £420 million to £430 million," United said in their annual report, which was released on Wednesday.
"This assumes the team finishes third in the FA Premier League and reaches the quarter-finals of the Uefa Champions League and the domestic cups." Despite the eye-catching figures, United moved cautiously during the close-season transfer period, waiting until the final day of the window before sanctioning a £27.5 million move for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
However, amid reports United failed with bids for a number of transfer targets, the club have moved to reassure supporters that money was made available to new manager David Moyes.
In a letter to fans, communications director Phil Townsend wrote: "The club has always backed the manager in the transfer market, as Sir Alex (Ferguson) has said on many occasions, and it will continue to do so.
"The club has demonstrated its belief in, and commitment to, David Moyes through the award of a six-year contract. Allowing him to shape the future Manchester United team is a long-term project, not an eight-week panic.
"He must be given time to assess his new squad and come to his own decisions on which players he feels will strengthen it. Additional resources were there to add to that, but it was not possible to agree with other clubs for the right players to leave.
"The key point there is that the players we buy have to be the right ones for Manchester United; not just any player." Townsend was responding to letters sent to him by supporters concerned by reports that United had missed out with approaches for players including the Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who left Barcelona for Bayern Munich, and Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao.
United had announced two new regional sponsorship agreements earlier on Wednesday.
They have signed five-year deals with Commercial Bank of Qatar and Emirates NBD Bank, which will become known as the club's official financial services partners in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.