Hibs reveal turnover boost but record net loss and higher operating expenses as club chief makes stability call

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Hibs recorded a rise in turnover last year but also posted a net loss of £1.5 million as the club battled with higher operating expenses and paid the price of a disappointing league finish, it has been revealed.

Chief executive Ben Kensell sent a letter to shareholders ahead of next week’s AGM on Tuesday March 7, which will be ‘to conduct the formal business of the company only’ as a mark of respect for executive chairman and majority shareholder Ron Gordon, who died last week.

Results for the year ending June 30 2022 saw Hibs’ turnover grow by 39 per cent to £11.9 million, up from £8.5m and attributable to the return of capacity crowds following Covid-19 restrictions, reaching two cup semi-finals and one final at Hampden, UEFA prize money, and ‘continued commercial growth’.

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Hibs incurred an operating loss of around £3.5m compared to an operating profit in the previous year of £500,000. After player trading and tax credits were included, the net loss figure stands at £1.5m, compared to a net profit of £870,000 the previous year. The majority of the player trading profit of £2.1m was related to Martin Boyle’s transfer but Hibs have confirmed that just £500,000 of that total was received during the financial year.

The Hibs AGM will be held next weekThe Hibs AGM will be held next week
The Hibs AGM will be held next week

Like most clubs, Hibs experienced a significant rise in operating expenses, rising from £10.5m to £15.8m. While some of the increase is due to costs associated with hosting matches at Easter Road, rising energy costs and severance payments stemming from the removal of two management teams also contributed.

Hibs’ eighth-place finish in the cinch Premiership last year resulted in a negative financial performance in the year despite runs to the latter stages of both domestic cup competitions. Missing out on the top six at the league split had, according to Kensell, ‘a significant impact on attendances for the last few games of the year as well as a decrease in the share of SPFL revenue’.

He added: “Poor league form, lack of desired playing identity, and financial failing also drove a change of management twice during the year, which incurred significant severance costs that have been recorded in the accounts. I have spoken of the need to achieve greater stability and consistency, and the figures simply underpin the need to do so.”

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