London: The sale of striker Darren Bent and midfielder Jordan Henderson helped English Premier League side Sunderland slash their annual losses to 7.8 million pounds (USD 12.43 million) from 27.9 million pounds as they chase a place in European competition next season.
Bent`s move to Aston Villa in January 2011 and Henderson`s departure to Liverpool in the close season helped the club to reduce losses by 72 percent in the year to July 31, 2011.
However, an increase in operating expenses, largely as a result of adding 14 new players to the first-team squad, contributed to a net operating loss of 31.2 million pounds.
Sunderland are eighth in the table with eight games left and could qualify for a place in the Europa League next season.
Their figures are also encouraging with the arrival of UEFA`s financial fair play rules, which demand that clubs break even as far as their football revenue and expenditure is concerned.
Chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "We have to make sure that we are financially sound and prepare the club for the implementation of Financial Fair Play rules.”
"Our financial results show that we are heading in the right direction on both fronts.
"We have seen significant strengthening of our playing squad with the acquisition of 14 players during the period, culminating in a 10th place finish in the Premier League, which was always our aim."
Turnover for the period increased by 21 percent to 79.4 million, a rise of 14 million pounds. However, operating expenses, which include player wages, rose to 110.7 million.