CELTIC may be in the best financial shape of their history after posting a £14.9m pre-tax profit for the six months to December 2012, according to Peter Lawwell, the club's chief executive.
The buoyant figures were announced on the eve of the Champions League last-16 tie against Juventus, and testified to the financial clout that accompanies the prestigious tournament.
Celtic's turnover increased by 71% to £50.06m against last year's £29.27m. This produced a profit on trading of £13.10m and, combined with a profit on selling players, most notably Ki Sung-Yueng to Swansea City, this produced the pre-tax profit that has partially been used to reduce Celtic's bank debt from £7.5m at the same period last year to £180,000 now.
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"It is a great credit to everybody," said Lawwell last night. "From the top to the bottom it has been a great effort and we are absolutely delighted. We are in a really stable position, very robust. We have not been this healthy for decades really – if we ever have been."
He emphasised that Celtic have a "flexible model" that allows the club to make the best of any circumstance.
"You have to be agile enough to cope with any changes," he said, noting that the club had not budgeted for qualification for the group stages of the Champions League.
"We have a stability and a robustness about the club. We have a good foundation here to take the club forward for a number of years."