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Counting the cost

HIBERNIAN recorded a loss last year for the first time in seven years, largely as a result of a lack of transfer income.

Figures released recently for the year ended July 31, 2011 show the Edinburgh club made a loss of £900,000 before tax – down £1m from the previous figure – despite selling Anthony Stokes to Celtic for around £1.2m in August 2010. The previous year Hibs had received net transfer income of £2.3m.

Turnover also fell marginally from £7.1m to £7m, attributed in part to the lower attendances associated with Hibs finishing last season in the bottom half of the table, as well as being knocked out of the Europa League, the League Cup, and the Scottish Cup at the first hurdle. Net debt increased by £1.8m to £5.9m, partly due to the loss recorded that year and partly as a result of loan payments due following the construction of the new East Stand.

The directors, however, remained positive about the future. "The club is in a strong financial position," read a statement. "The infrastructure assets of Easter Road and the Hibernian Training Centre are funded by retained earnings and long-term structured debt. Performances on the field of play have a direct impact on the club's finances, and changes were made during the year and after the end of the season to improve the club's prospects."

Easter Road was valued last year at £18.5m, on the basis of depreciated replacement cost, while the training facility was valued at £5,450,000 on the same basis.

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