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Arsenal buoyed by annual report

LONDON -- Arsenal is thriving on and off the pitch again.

Reversing the trend of slow starts in recent seasons, the Gunners are top of the Premier League after winning four of their five games.

And another set of healthy annual financial results were published on Monday, with fans having been appeased this month by owner Stan Kroenke dipping into the cash reserves and spending €50 million ($66 million) on signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.

Arsenal says on May 31 -- before the club-record Ozil signing -- it had cash reserves of £153 million ($246 million). Turnover in the 2012-13 financial year rose to £243 million ($390 million), although pre-tax profits dropped to £6.7 million ($11 million).

"With the Ozil transfer I believe we have made a significant statement and when Arsene (Wenger) decides the time is right to invest again, Stan Kroenke, myself and the rest of the Board will be delighted to support him," club chairman Chips Keswick said in a statement.

Keswick credited a new sponsorship deal with Emirates airlines as well as commercial and retail revenue for the improvements in the financial picture.

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