Hearts post profit with help of £3 million donation

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Hearts have posted a £1.8 million profit for the financial year ending June 30, with the aid of donations totalling £3 million.

A £1 million gift went towards player costs, while £2 million was also handed over by anonymous benefactors.

The profit was achieved during a period that saw Hearts make significant investments both on and off the pitch.

The ongoing Tynecastle Redevelopment Project, which includes the new main stand, continues to dominate the club’s balance sheet – with the club purchasing £3.3 million for ‘construction services’ from one company alone during the year.

Supporters group the Foundation of Hearts also contributed £1.25 million as part of their £3 million pledge towards stadium works.

Staff costs increased to £7 million from £5.9 million, although gate receipts also grew by 24 per cent to £5.3 million.

Turnover rose to £12.1 million – an increase of £800,000 from the previous 12 months.

Hearts, who also installed a new £1 million hybrid pitch during the summer, made a profit of £444,000 through player sales after Jamie Walker moved to Wigan and Esmael Goncalves’ switched to Uzbek club Pakhtakor Tashkent.

The healthy financial results coincided with a disappointing season on the pitch, with Hearts finishing sixth.

Speaking in the financial report, Hearts owner and chair Ann Budge said “Financial Year 2017/18 saw us continue on our journey to re-establish Heart of Midlothian FC as a major force within Scottish football.

“Our investments continued, both on and off the field, in line with our long-term strategic objectives.

“We received an exceptional £1m donation towards player costs from our benefactors.

“This allowed us to enhance our playing budget for the year and consequently our staff costs increased considerably. In addition, our operating charges increased from £5.4m to £6.1m, matching the trend of the increase in our turnover.

“Our cash outflow during the year was £5.3m. This arose largely as a result of payments made in connection with the Tynecastle Redevelopment Project, offset by exceptional donations received from our benefactors; the drawdown of the additional loan facilities secured during the year and the sale of players.

“Whilst we had budgeted to break-even, we actually made a small profit even with the disruption to normal operations.

“Major projects such as the new main stand and the new pitch come at significant cost but are key investments to secure the future of the club.”

Budge, who also provided a loan of £1.75 million, added: “From a financial perspective and despite challenges we have faced and are continuing to face, we have once again achieved one of our key objectives; namely to continue to grow our business across all areas and to do so profitably.

“It was a demanding year both on and off the pitch but we faced and overcame the challenges by sticking to our core values and to our long-term plan.  

“As a business we are in good shape; growing revenues and managing costs.  The future looks bright indeed.”

The accounts also show that Hearts have net assets of £14.7 million, while the club also celebrated the first anniversary of opening its own performance school in Balerno.

Hearts also stated that cash flow projections through to June 2020 include, ‘Donations amounting to £3.25m received in the first quarter of season 2018/2019.”

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