Arsenal remain confident their Highbury Square development can ride out the current uncertain economic climate, with the group's property business recording a pre-tax profit of Â£4.9million in half-yearly results published on Thursday morning.
Profit before tax for the six months ending November 30, 2008 were Â£24.5million, up from Â£20million, with increased contributions from both the football and property aspects of the Gunners' parent holding company.
The Emirates Stadium effect is shown by an increase in match-day turnover of Â£3.3million to Â£44.4million, while broadcasting revenues increased to Â£28.9million, up Â£4.5million, and overall pre-tax profit increased to Â£19.7million from Â£19.1million in 2007.
However, the redevelopment of Highbury could present some challenges.
Construction is close to completion, with 186 apartments, at a value of Â£76.7million, now finished and sales at Â£58.1million at November 30, 2008.
However, the current economic downturn means sales income could be slower than expected and Arsenal accept "there is a probable need to extend the term of the Highbury Square bank loan and discussions with the banking syndicate are at a preliminary stage."
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "Clearly there are some significant challenges ahead of us, both on and off the pitch, over the closing months of this financial year and beyond.
"We are closely monitoring the position with a view to ensuring, as we always have done, that the group is on a robust footing and ready to respond to any challenges this exceptional economic climate may bring.
"The UK property market has been particularly affected by the economic downturn and, inevitably, this has had an impact on the group's own property development activities in the period.
"The financial arrangements for the group's property activities are separate and largely operate independently from the financing of the football business."
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