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Celtic report financial slump

Celtic have announced a decrease in turnover of almost 23% for the six months to the end of 2009. The Parkhead club revealed in their interim results a turnover of £36.11million, down 22.8% on £46.8million at the same time last year.

Profits before taxation were down from £8.36million to £1.27million while bank debt increased from £0.97million to £3.13million.

Chairman John Reid blamed the downturn on failure to qualify for the Champions League in addition to "more difficult trading conditions".

On a statement on the club's website, Reid said: "A year ago I reported on a very positive set of interim results.

"This reflected good trading conditions, three recent Scottish Premier League Championships and participation in the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League as Scotland's sole representative.

"I said then that football and commercial success went hand in hand. This year's report confirms that assertion.

"It certainly reflects different, more difficult trading conditions, and it is plain that like other commercial concerns we are affected by the recession.

"But it also reflects disappointing performance on the park; we did not qualify for the UCL Group Stage this season as we had hoped, instead participating in the Europa League.

"The difference that this and the economic climate have made to our business is borne out in our financial results for the six months to 31 December 2009."

"Despite the absence of Champions League participation, over 50,000 season tickets have been sold and our merchandising business is holding up well, with this year's away kit the best selling for many years.

"Our sponsor programme also remains one of the most successful in British football.

"Non-exceptional operating expenses have decreased by £2.71million to £31.39million, largely through labour cost savings, and we remain in profit, generating a profit from trading before asset transactions and exceptional items of £4.71million against last year's £12.68million and a profit before tax of £1.27million against £8.36million at the same time last year."

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