Byline: ROBERT LEA
AS on the football field, Manchester United the company is going from strength to strength, its latest half-year results reveal.
But while Man U chalked up record turnover and operating profits in the first half of the season as its football team powered to another Premiership with hopes of further European glory, the company will be worried about a sharp downturn in merchandising revenues.
For the six months to 31 January, the group reported a 12.5% rise in revenues to [pound]72 million, mainly on the back of the expanded Old Trafford stadium.
With the capacity up by more than 12,000 to 67,700 and the stadium sold out week after week, revenue from the gate was a third higher at [pound]28.4 million.
Revenue from sponsorship, led by the shirts deal with Vodafone, was also up strongly, 26% better at [pound]11.1 million. Fewer Man U hit by fall in merchandising FALLING export orders are hurting business confidence in Japan and planned cuts in new investment are threatening to lead the country further into recession.
The deepening gloom is shown in the Bank of Japan's latest Tankan survey of business opinion, which records a dramatic drop in confidence over the past three months the first negative result in nine quarters.
televised games, however, led to a decrease of [pound]500,000 in TV revenue to [pound]15.1 million.
But the 9% fall in merchandising and other …