CELTIC yesterday unveiled financial figures that show the club to be ''very robust'' financially, 'very stable'', according to Peter Lawwell, the chief executive.

He added: ''We are not complacent, not over-confident. This year we have not won anything but if these figures as regarded as a snapshot of today then we are in decent shape.''

The club reduced its bank debt by £2m to £7m during the second half of last year, interim financial figures for the six months to December 31 show. Celtic made a pre-tax profit of about £180,000 while cutting the debt to just more than £7m. Turnover increased by 3.1% to £29.3m. Celtic reported investment in football personnel of almost £4.5m, half of the figure for the same period last year, when they profited from the sale of Aiden McGeady among others.

Chairman Ian Bankier said: "At this time last year, we reported a profit from player transfer activity of £13.2m. This year, the comparable figure is considerably less, at £3.15m. The key dynamic driving these interim results and our financial performance for the remainder of this financial year is our player investment and transfer strategy.

"We invested £4.44m in the first half of the year and have followed this with further acquisitions in the most recent January registration window. We can confidently say that the strength and depth of the player pool now available to the football manager is better than it has been for several seasons.''

Celtic's Europa League reprieve helped increase turnover by almost £1m after they were reinstated following the exclusion of Sion before bowing out in the group stages. "This increase offset reduced revenues from pre-season tours and merchandising," Bankier said.

Operating expenses rose in line with turnover while Bankier predicted a similar trading pattern in the first six months of this year. He added: "Our period-end bank debt of £7.05m is around £2m less than at the same time last year, and remains manageable, and well within the club's facilities."