Hearts announce increased turnover of £3m in latest accounts
Edinburgh club's balance sheet remains healthy
Hearts have recorded a £3million increase in turnover in their latest annual accounts, largely due to £3.25m contributions from anonymous benefactors.
The club's income increased from £12.1m to £15.1m for the year ended June 30, 2019 - despite a disappointing on-field performance as they finished sixth in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The new main stand at Tynecastle Park is helping to generate more revenue, underlined by a 31 per cent increase in income from commercial activities. Gate receipts are up 12 per cent from the previous year, which helped Hearts record a total operating profit of £1.6m.
Benefactors contributed £1m towards player costs during the year and an extra £2.25m towards the redevelopment of Tynecastle. Work is still ongoing to complete some of the final stages of the new stand, which is part of an £18m redevelopment project at the stadium. A total of £3.6m was spent on that during the year.
Runs to the latter stages of last season's Betfred League Cup and William Hill Scottish Cup also contributed to the income, and Hearts made £500,000 from player sales during the year. That is mainly attributable to the transfer of striker Kyle Lafferty to Rangers in August 2018.
The fan-led organisation Foundation of Hearts are due to assume ownership of the club next year. The accounts show that FoH handed over £1.32m to help fund the club and continue repaying owner Ann Budge for her initial outlay to help Hearts out of administration in 2014.
Hearts' wage bill has increased by more than £1m to £8.2m as they have employed more players and staff over the period in question. They also reported operating costs of £6.5m.
A statement posted on the club website alongside the accounts stated: "As a football club, external focus is, of course, always on the performance of our first team. Unfortunately, our success on the pitch for the 2018/19 season did not reach the level to which we aspire as disappointingly we finished in sixth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the second year in succession.
"During the year we continued to make a significant investment in our playing squad and, while our final league position was disappointing, we did achieve success in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup. A League Cup semi-final at BT Murrayfield, watched by over 28,000 Hearts supporters, followed later in the year by a Scottish Cup final at Hampden in May 2019, supported by over 21,000 Hearts fans, allowed us to finish the season on a positive note.
"From a financial perspective we have once again achieved our major objective which was to grow our revenues profitably. In particular, our turnover increased by over 20% from £12.1m to £15.1m. This resulted partly from growth in our commercial income, aided by the new facilities in our main stand and as a result of our successes in both the League and Scottish Cups.
"In summary, it was another challenging year both on and off the pitch, however, we continued to focus on our core values and have delivered a very positive financial performance. This bodes well for the future."