Barca earnings up almost 20 percent

MADRID - Barcelona's earnings rose by almost a fifth on the year in the six months to the end of December and the club made a net profit of 8 million euros, the European champions said on Thursday.

Income increased across all parts of the club's activities to 222.8 million euros, from 186 million in the same period a year earlier, a gain of 19.7 percent, Barca said on their website.

New sponsorhip deals with TV3, Etisalat and Turkish Airlines helped boost revenue, as well as a tour of the United States and a friendly in Kuwait, while the club also earned more from gate receipts, they added.

The gain in income was outpaced by a 27.1 percent increase in spending, which rose to 211 million euros from 166 million in the year-earlier period, Barca said.

The club spent more on player salaries due to new signings such as striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as on improved contracts and bonuses for the three titles won in the period, the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Club World Cup.

"The figures highlight that Barcelona is consolidating year after year a self-financing and sustainable business model," the club said.