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ENGLISH Premier League club Arsenal are scoring off the field.

ENGLISH Premier League club Arsenal are scoring off the field.

Yesterday the London-based club posted a 37% increase in full-year pre-tax profit.

Its strong showing has been attributed, in part, to the club's strong performances on the field - particularly in cup competitions - and sales of its property development.

Last season the club finished fourth in the English Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the moneyspinning UEFA Champions League as well as the FA Cup.

In July, US sports tycoon Stan Kroenke increased his stake in Arsenal to 28.58%, leapfrogging Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov as the club's largest shareholder.

Arsenal made a record pre-tax profit of £35.2 million (or $56.27 million) in the year to May 31 2009, up from £25.7 million pounds in the previous year.

Revenue was also up by 40% to £313.3 million pounds.

Said chairman Peter Hill-Wood: "The group's profitability is important because it is a by-product of running the club as a solvent and successful business, which in turn allows us to maximise the level of investment in the playing staff."

Arsenal and especially its manager, Arsene Wenger, is known for being frugal in the transfer market.

And despite selling off several high profile players in recent times - including striker Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City for a reported £25-million - they only bought one player, defender Thomas Vermaelen for £10-million.

Underlying operating profit in the football business, meanwhile, rose 5% to £62.7-million while the sale of 208 private apartments, built on the site of the club's former Highbury stadium, boosted operating profit from property activities to £7.8-million.

Of the 655 apartments in the Highbury Square development, sales have now finalised for 445 of them.

The club moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.

The balance of the bank loan used to fund the development has been reduced to £47million and the loan has been refinanced and extended to December 2010. - Reuters