BARCELONA - European champions Barcelona cut their pre-tax loss to around 21 million euros in the year to the end of June from 83 million in the preceding period, the club said on Wednesday.
Javier Faus, Barca's vice president for economic affairs, said revenue for the period was 420 million euros, up from 415 million, while spending fell from 495 million to 441 million.
Although the club earned 23 million euros more than they had budgeted from winning the Spanish league and the Champions League, they had to pay more in bonuses which cut projected competition income from 38 million to 34 million, he said.
"We are delighted with that outcome," Faus told a news conference. "It is the best possible investment because Barca has never been as recognised in brand terms as it is now."
Faus and president Sandro Rosell took charge of the Catalan club, the world's second-richest by revenue behind Spanish rivals Real Madrid, at the end of the 2009/10 season and have set about trying to cut spending and reduce a huge debt pile.
Faus, who told Reuters earlier this year the club would return to profit next season, said there was a pot of 45 million euros available for spending in the transfer market, which could increase if any players were sold.
Gross debt had shrunk to around 483 million euros in the year to the end of June from 532 million, while net debt had fallen to 364 million from 431 million, he added.
"There has been a very significant effort, which will continue over the next two years, to cut this debt," he said.
"For this board of directors, this milestone is unavoidable and cannot be waived.
"FC Barcelona lost 83 million euros last year and 21 million this year and it cannot allow itself to continue losing money."
As part of its efforts to trim spending, Barcelona would close down its baseball section and planned to reduce the amount the club's various sports teams cost from 10 percent of the annual budget to five percent by 2015/16, Faus added.comments