Manchester United saw their total revenue rise to a record £76.3m in the first quarter thanks to increased sponsorship deals – though the club would have made an overall £6m loss had it not been for a £26.5m tax credit received by registering its holding company in the tax-free haven of the Cayman Islands.
In the three months to the end of September, the club's debt fell to £359.7m, a drop of 17% from the £433.2m in the same period last year, though the £24.5m interest on the sum is the same as Sir Alex Ferguson paid for Robin van Persie during the summer.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, said: "Manchester United had a record first quarter driven by our commercial operation, which continues to experience extremely strong global revenue growth in new media and mobile, retail merchandising and sponsorship. The team has also made a strong start to the 2012-13 season – currently first place in the Premier League and our Champions League group."
The growth was due to 10 new deals that include contracts with General Motors, Bwin and Santander. Revenue from this sector was up 24.3% from £34.6m to £43m.
The fall in debt was down to the finance raised by floating the club on the New York stock exchange in August, after the holding company was registered in the Cayman Islands.
The report stated that a further "£60m" tax credit could be due to utilise later in this or in future years. United also hope to increase income when negotiations begin with Nike in February regarding the renewal of the £303m kit deal that finishes in 2013.
In July, United secured a lucrative £357m contract with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on their shirts from 2014 until 2021. This caused the club to buy out the agreement with DHL for its training kit, which now finishes at the close of this season.
The Glazer family loaded £550m of debt on to the club when they bought United in 2005, including interest and other fees. Regarding these recent results and the debt, Andy Green, a financial analyst who writes the andersred blog" on football ownership, tweeted: "Stop all transfer spending and it would still take 5 years+ for £#MUFC to become debt free."