LONDON May 2 New sponsorship deals in Europe
and Asia helped English soccer champions Manchester United
to report a 23 percent increase in underlying profit in
the three months to March.
United, who have just recaptured the English Premier League
title, said they were on course to hit revenue and profit
targets for their financial year, which runs to the end of June.
The club claims to have more than 650 million followers
worldwide and has signed a series of local and international
sponsorship deals to cash in on its global fame.
Revenues in the three months to March rose almost 30 percent
to 91.7 million pounds ($142.6 million), with the commercial
sector which includes sponsorship showing the strongest growth.
Profit before charges such as interest and tax was ahead of
forecasts at 25 million pounds.
Owned by the American Glazer family, United listed on the
New York Stock Exchange last August.
Shares have recovered from an initial dip to trade at
$18.41, up from a flotation price of $14.