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By ESPN Staff

United's commercial income rises

Manchester United look certain to be the first Premier League club to break the £100 million barrier for commercial revenue alone.

The most recent three-monthly accounts showed revenues rising to £24 million over the first quarter of the accounting year, and it is thought the second, up to December 31, will be equally strong.

United's new 'territory specific' approach to commercial opportunities, agreed with the Glazer family and implemented by commercial director Richard Arnold, has allowed the Old Trafford outfit to rapidly expand that area of club revenue.

The last annual figures showed a 16% growth in commercial income to £81 million and last week global logistics giant DHL became the latest company to confirm an extended "partnership" with the Old Trafford outfit, their three-year deal allowing them to take charge of the distribution of United's massive merchandising operation.

Even if United do not get to the £100 million mark this year, it is only a matter of time before they make it, emphasising just how popular the club remains as it pushes towards a record 19th league championship.

And with revenue streams continuing to grow in other sectors, chief executive David Gill is confident that the spread across all three areas; media, matchday and commercial means United are insulated against future problems in other areas.

"One of the strengths of this club compared to others is that we get income from all revenue streams,'' he said. "Our matchday revenue is around 40% of our overall turnover, we are part of a great competition in the Premier League that continues to grow and the commercial sector has gone up from 20% to 30%.

"That will stand us in very good stead. They are all high margins and will continue to give us the money Sir Alex Ferguson needs to keep the club at the top. There is a strong desire within our great supporter base for that to happen.''

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