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A 3.7 per cent increase in turnover to a record level of £82m, supported by a stable, well-managed cost base, allowed Everton to retain several key players during the 2010/11 financial year, the Club’s Annual Report and Accounts confirmed today.

New contracts for Phil Jagielka, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert and Victor Anichebe - together with the purchases of Magaye Gueye, Apostolos Vellios and Jermaine Beckford saw wages increase by 6.8 per cent. This, after adjusting for outsourced retail and catering, resulted in a wage to turnover ratio of 67 per cent - below the Premier League average of 68 per cent.

This investment contributed to an improved 7th placed league finish – up from 8th in 2009/10. The Club’s multi-million pound investment in the Academy continued to pay off with the continued development of Jack Rodwell and emergence of Ross Barkley. Other highlights in the financial year, ending May 31st 2011, included Everton’s Under 18s lifting the National Academy trophy.

The £2.9m increase in turnover reflects the improved Premier League TV deal and the Club's successful pre-season tour to Australia. Other non-wage costs, including the running of the stadium, the training ground and the Academy, totalled £23.6m, slightly down on the previous year’s £23.8m. The Club reported an operating loss before player trading of £0.5m – again consistent with the results for the year ended May 2010. Net debt remained at £44.9m.

The main figures for the financial year ending May 31, 2011, were:

- Improved group turnover up from £79.1m to £82m
- Total wages up from £54.3m to £58m
- Wages as a percentage of turnover (Inc. Outsourced catering and retail) up from 65 per cent to 67 per cent 
- Operating Loss before player trading remaining stable at £0.5m
- Net debt remained stable at £44.9m

Chief Executive Robert Elstone said: “Overall, these are solid numbers which point to a well-managed Club maintaining its position in tough times and in the face of tough competition.

“But whilst we’re pleased with the results, we also know they highlight our challenges. The economic challenges faced by our fans and our partners are shared by us and make it more important than ever for us to deliver value for money. And the economic muscle of some of our competitors makes it more challenging than ever to live up to our ambition.

“Almost all of the building blocks are in place, but without doubt, to move forward in a significant way, and as our Chairman has acknowledged repeatedly in recent years, we need new investment.

“The most important building block for any club is a large, loyal and passionate fan base and Everton clearly has that. We have over two decades of experience, between our Chairman and Manager in the decision making that matter most in a football club - buying, selling and rewarding players. We have a tried, tested and envied Academy which produces talented footballers able to compete at the very highest level. And, we have a stable and experienced senior management team with clear priorities on revenue generation and cost control.

“Our stadium is undoubtedly in need of modernisation and expansion and that, alongside the search for new investment, remain our 'top line' priorities.  And that prioritisation means alongside our own internal team and its network of contacts, we have financiers, accountants and lawyers looking for the right buyer, all working hard to find the investor with the desire, intent and ability to move the Club forward. It also means we remain in dialogue – undoubtedly made more challenging in these economic times – with partners on stadium and facility opportunities.

“Without the new investment we are striving hard to secure, it's simple, we will continue to do what we are doing today - developing our own players, doing our best to out-trade our rivals in the transfer market and working hard to increase revenues and keep a lid on all non-player related costs.”

Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright re-affirmed in the Annual Report that while the search for the new investment continues, the Club will do everything possible to back Manager David Moyes.

Mr Kenwright said: “Once again, try as I might, I was unable to accomplish the task which has dominated my life for these past few years – finding the man, or the institution, with the finances to move us forward. Hopefully the day will come soon when I will happily – even enthusiastically – hand over control of our beloved Club to a substantially wealthy individual or well-funded investment group.

“Until that day, it goes without saying that, as ever, we will do everything within our power to fully support the ambition and vision of David Moyes, a man with few peers in football. David is fully aware of precisely where we are in terms of available funds. He is appreciative of the fact that every penny we can find moves to his transfer kitty, and whilst he would obviously like more, he has a sound sense of business and accepts the parameters within which we must operate.”

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