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Manchester Utd returns to profit

Red Football Ltd, the holding company of English Premier League soccer club Manchester United, returned to profit in the year to end June 2009 boosted by the sale of player Cristiano Ronaldo.

The unlisted company swung to a pretax profit of 48.2 million pounds, from a loss of Ł21.4 million the year earlier, as revenue grew 9%, it said on Monday.

Its profits were lifted by the June sale of winger Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of Ł80 million.

During the year the club won the Premier League title, the Carling Cup and was runner-up in the Champions League to Barcelona.

Manchester United plans to raise about Ł500 million through a notes offering to refinance existing debt.

The Glazer family, who own a variety of interests in US sports clubs, bought the club for Ł828 million in 2005, funding one third of the acquisition with equity, one third bank debt, and one third with a payment-in-kind note.

The club, which suffered a shock FA Cup defeat by League One club Leeds United this month, is currently second in the Premier League and has qualified for the knock-out stages of this season's Champions League. (Reuters)