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Premier League club on track to earn £500m

English Premier League soccer club Manchester United showed its commercial strength when it raised its core earnings expectations for the year.

United said it expects adjusted core earnings of £178 million to 188 million for the year, an increase from its earlier outlook of £165 million to 175 million. It maintained expectations for revenue of between £500 and 510 million.

There were several factors behind the increased forecast, head of corporate finance Hemen Tseayo told financial analysts.

“The English clubs received a higher-than-expected distribution from the Champions League market pool,” he said, referring to the way broadcast revenue is shared out.

Lower than expected player costs and appearance fees had given a further boost after United made no major signings in the January transfer window.

Shares in United, controlled by the American Glazer family, jumped 6.9 percent to $14.57 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares had fallen about 30 percent from its November high of $19.74, reflecting the team’s struggles.

United, league winners a record 20 times are only fifth in the Premier League, six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City.

Clubs need to finish in the top four of the Premier League to gain access to the Champions League in the following season.

United’s global appeal, which it says stretches to 659 million followers, continues to prove lucrative, with two sponsorship deals signed in the quarter.

Earlier in the month, the club signed a partnership with Twenty-First Century Fox to promote film distributor’s latest movies during the club’s home games.

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