Hibs’ successful return to the Premiership was today reflected in the Easter Road club’s latest financial figures which show the Edinburgh outfit back in the black.
Three seasons in the Championship took a toll on Hibs’ finances, the accounts this time last year showing a loss of £277,000, a deficit which chairman Rod Petrie admitted was “some way short of our target which is to at least break even”.
However, in a letter accompanying the annual report and accounts which was dropping through the letter boxes of shareholders this morning, Petrie revealed Hibs had made a pre-tax profit of £200,000 for the year ended June 30. He said the figures reflected the benefits of “a disciplined performance both on and off the pitch”, Hibs having ended last season in fourth place having been involved in the battle for the runners-up spot until the penultimate game.
“Most commentators would say that season 2017-18 was an encouraging season for the club,” said Petrie. “And season 2018-19 started brightly, with three rounds in the UEFA Europa League. The audited financial statements make good reading. Sporting success with the increased prize money available in the Scottish Premiership, improved all the numbers. And it confirmed what we said in previous years, that the club could break even in the Premiership.”
Turnover at Easter Road rose to £9.6 million compared to £7.7m in the previous year, the highest annual turnover figure since 2006-07 while staff costs went up to £5.3m from £4.5m but the “wages to turnover” ratio fell to 56 per cent. Net assets were £19.8m, up from £19.4m one year earlier, and cash balances were £4.2m, up from £3.5m, mainly because there are now more than 13,600 season-ticket holders for the 15,000 or so seats available to home supporters while the average attendance of 18,500 is the highest for several years.
However, Petrie revealed today’s figures do not include the £3m sale of Scotland midfielder John McGinn to Aston Villa or striker Simon Murray’s £150,000 move to Bidvest Wits in South Africa, or the purchases of striker Florian Kamberi and midfielders Stevie Mallan and Daryl Horgan, each bought for six-figure sums. He said: “Everyone who has played for the club and has since left for pastures new deserves the gratitude of supporters. No-one more so than John McGinn. The departure of the player was not unexpected and the executive team is to be congratulated – not only for securing appropriate value for the player but also for the work done to achieve the summer signings which have seen a number of full international players join the club. Special thanks go to Neil Lennon, who had the benefit of seeing matches from the perspective of the directors box in the early part of the year – although now, thankfully, restored to the dugout – and to Leeann Dempster and to all of the staff who work tirelessly for the best interests of the club every day, not just on match days.
“The club owns Easter Road Stadium and the Hibernian Training Centre. It has a robust balance sheet with no bank debt. But it does rely on the continued support of everyone who attends matches at Easter Road Stadium or who contributes in other ways on matchdays.
“Recent sporting and financial success has been achieved by everyone working together to build a strong and vibrant club. We are well placed to continue to strive for success in the future, not just for today but for the benefit of generations to come.”