Hearts see reduction in debt

PA Sport

Hearts have announced a profit for a second successive year and a reduction of their debt to £24million - the lowest level in six years - in their latest financial results.

Debt was reduced by 33% from £36.1m as a result of a debt restructuring plan, while profit was achieved as a result of a 19% reduction in operating costs to £3.63m, a 12% drop in employment costs and a cut of 11% in finance charges to £1.44m, Hearts said.

The results reflect an 11-month period to bring Hearts into line with standard UEFA member club financial reporting dates. The previous results, until July 31, 2010, were the first time Hearts could boast a profit in 11 years.

Turnover was reduced by £1m to £6.9m, a result Hearts attributed to "the absence of both European football and significant player sales".

The figures relate to the 11 months until June 30, 2011 and therefore do not include the current season at Tynecastle, which has featured owner Vladimir Romanov expressing his wish to sell the club and four months of significant delays in the delivery of salaries for some players and staff.

The current campaign could yet finish with a trophy - Hearts meet Hibernian on May 19 in the William Hill Scottish Cup final - and a place in the Europa League, while the capital club have already announced the contracts of first-team players Ian Black, Adrian Mrowiec and David Obua will not be extended as they seek to further slash the wage bill.

Hearts anticipate their financial predicament will improve in future.

A statement on the club's official website, www.heartsfc.co.uk, read: "A continued focus on financial efficiencies - including further managed reduction in employment costs and finance charges - will ensure the club is well positioned to achieve future financial improvement.

"The company continues to progress towards UEFA Financial Fair Play readiness and the directors expect that while the current economic and footballing environment is extremely challenging, the club will be able to participate in future European competitions if it qualifies through final domestic league standing."

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