St Mary’s Football Group Limited, incorporating Southampton Football Club Limited, has today published its audited annual results for the year ending 30th June 2017.
The directors are pleased to report another period of strong financial performance across a number of areas of the business.
Turnover improved significantly once more, to a record £182.3m (2016: £124.3m), with commercial and matchday turnover both showing positive increases, to a combined £37.9m (2016: £31.3m).
Overall, the group achieved profit for the year, after taxation, of £34.1m (2016: £4.9m), while net assets increased to £79.1m (2016: £45.0m), and net debt decreased from £38.9m in 2016 to net cash of £2.9m in 2017.
The club’s position was helped by the 2016/17 season being the first of the new Premier League television rights deal, with the club also having three more live games than in the previous campaign.
Additionally, participation in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League and the team’s run to the EFL Cup final helped drive an increase in turnover.
Elsewhere, new sponsorship agreements, notably with Under Armour and Virgin Media, contributed to a 27 per cent increase in commercial turnover.
The group’s strategy has continued to be to strengthen the first-team playing squad in order to compete in multiple competitions, while simultaneously strengthening the overall operation of the club.
Significant investment has continued to be made in recruiting players and strengthening contracts, with the average length of a first-team squad player deal standing at 38 months in 2017 compared to 35 months in 2016, while intangible fixed assets have increased from £84.9m to £97.3m as a result of this.
Encouragingly, the group has, at the same time, been able to improve its wages-to-turnover ratio from 68 per cent in 2016 to 62 per cent in 2017, despite player remuneration growing by 29 per cent (£67.2m in 2016, to £86.6m in 2017).
The number of players with international recognition at senior or under-21 level increased from 23 to 26, while 17 players represented their country at youth level in 2016/17, compared to 12 during 2015/16.
The club’s Academy talent pool continues to grow and strengthen, with an average of 29 players on scholarship agreements in 2016/17, compared to 20 the season before, while ten graduates represented the first-team in the 2016/17 campaign.
Toby Steele, Managing Director, commented:
“We are pleased with the group’s performance in the year, which underlines the club’s financial growth and stability.
“While the record revenues are largely driven by new broadcasting deals, it is encouraging to once again see improvement in our commercial and matchday revenues, which are important for us to grow in order to strengthen our competitiveness on the pitch.
“We have again invested heavily in the first-team, and have continued to do so in the period beyond these results, while doing likewise in our Academy and our staff, to ensure that we remain well-positioned for the future.
“The performance of the team always remains our ultimate focus, and through continuing to strengthen our financial position we give ourselves the best opportunity of driving improvement on the pitch.”