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Manchester United profits surge after Champions League return

Manchester United have announced rises in revenue and profit as the effects of a return to the Champions League and the lucrative sponsorship deal with adidas were reflected in their second-quarter results.

The updated figures released on Thursday cover the three months up until December 31 and provide a picture for the first six months of their accounting period.

Q2 profits were £18.6 million, giving the club half-year profits of £23.6m, a 165.2 per cent rise from the £8.9m recorded over the same six-month period last year.

Total revenue was a record £133.8m for Q2 - a 26.6 per cent increase - and £257.4m for the six months to give them a 32.4 per cent improvement on the figures recorded in the first half of 2014-15.

Commercial and broadcasting revenues surged by 42.5 per cent and 31.3 per cent respectively in Q2, while their matchday turnover fell slightly by 1.6 per cent, but is up by 20 per cent for the half-year, mainly due to the Champions League fixtures that were missing in the previous year's results.

The club's debt position has improved slightly, with their net debt now at £322.1m compared to £343.4m at the same period last year – a 6.2 per cent reduction.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Our strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy and the broader club are ultimately underpinned by our financial strength and the hard work and dedication of everyone at the club.

"Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority - success on the pitch." 

With the positive impact of Champions League football on the half-year results evident, manager Louis van Gaal will be under pressure to secure a return to the competition next season.

United predicted full-year revenue was expected to be between £500m and £510m, which would be a record for a British club.