Celtic chief executive Lawwell is delighted on figures

Peter Lawwell said that Celtic are "in the best financial state we've ever been in" after the club posted half-yearly profits of £21.3m.

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Peter Lawwell, right, has reason to smile
Peter Lawwell, right, has reason to smile

The figures, to the end of December 2013, reflect a rise in profit from £14.9m, with the headline figures boosted by the club's involvement in the Champions League and the sales of Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama and Kelvin Wilson last summer.

Celtic's revenue fell 11% from £50.1m to £44.8m, mainly due to 16 home games in the accounting period as compared to 19 in the previous year and the £100 cashback scheme to adult season ticket holders.

The fall in revenue was, though, offset by a reduction in operating expenses, which were down 7% from £37m to £34.3m.

The figures represent vindication for Celtic's recruitment strategy, since player sales - the "disposal of intangible assets" - was £16.5m, compared to £5.2m the previous year.

This reflected the sales of three leading players last summer, but investment in football personnel was £5m, up from £4.7m the previous year. The profit from trading before asset transaction and exceptional operating expenses of £10.5m, dowm from £13.1m.

"We're seeing financial benefits from the planning and the strategy we've put in place in the last few years," said Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive.

"Primarily this year (the results are due to), player trading and the Champions League. It sets us up, we have a real strong foundation to face the future, the challenges of Scottish football.

"It's allowed us to do a wee bit more, it's a multi-million pound project outside (Celtic Park). We've given the fans back several million pounds in cashback and we've bought some players.

"It allows us to go into the summer transfer window from a very good standing to try to strengthen before the Champions League. Neil Lennon will have substantial funds to spend.

"It makes no sense to keep the money in the bank and we would rather invest in the business and that's investing in good footballers that create value for the club. Celtic can buy a £6m-8m player if the value is there.

"We would not buy a 29-year-old at £8million on a four-year contract at £40,000-a-week because that is dead money. We're not buying players just for the sake of it."

While individual domestic attendances have dipped in recent seasons, with Celtic essentially guaranteed to win the championship, the club has maintained a healthy financial state.

Lawwell also said that while it is a "high possibility" that the team will play its Champions League qualifying ties next summer at Murrayfield, while Celtic Park is used by the Commonwealth Games, the decision has not yet been confirmed.

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