May 17, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer: FA Cup finalists Manchester United to meet financial goals

(Reuters) - Manchester United remain on course to hit their main financial targets for 2017-18 despite being upstaged by local rivals Manchester City in the Premier League.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs Watford - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - May 13, 2018 Manchester United's Michael Carrick speaks to the crowd after the match REUTERS/Darren Staples/Files

United, whose leading players include David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, finished second in the 20-team English Premier League on Sunday behind City.

United could end the season with another trophy if they beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

The club, controlled by the American Glazer family, is targeting between 575-585 million pounds of revenue and adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) of between 175-185 million pounds for the year to the end of June.

Injecting a note of caution, Chief Financial Officer Cliff Baty told analysts the EBITDA figure was likely to come in towards the lower end of the range.

United failed to progress beyond the last 16 of the Champions League after defeat by Spain’s Sevilla in March, ending their run in the lucrative European competition.

United shares, which are listed in New York, slid 4.7 percent to $20.10 by 1435 GMT. They floated at a price of $14 almost six years ago.

Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward said talk of the creation of a 24-team Club World Cup tournament illustrated the importance of the game to broadcasters.

“We believe live sports content will become increasingly more valuable in the future,” Woodward told analysts.

United have won the English league title a record 20 times but their performance has slipped in the recent seasons. However, finishing second in the English Premier League is enough to guarantee a place in next season’s Champions League.

United actually took a slightly larger share of Premier League income than City based on having more of their matches shown live.

The club’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax and depreciation and amortisation for the three months to March 31 rose to 36.1 million pounds ($48.71 million) from 30 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue for the period rose 8.1 percent to 137.5 million pounds.

($1 = 0.7411 pounds)

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir

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