Carlisle United made a profit of more than £750,000 last season, the Blues have revealed.

It came as the Cumbrians raked in £1.1m from player sales.

The turnaround in their finances in 2019/20 came in spite of the early months of the Covid-19 crisis.

And it has helped United weather the subsequent impact of the pandemic.

The figures help to underline the value to the club of deals for young stars such as Jarrad Branthwaite, who was sold to Everton in January 2020.

Last season saw the Blues' headline turnover rise to £4.5m, the highest figure for several years.

United's debt, though, had also risen to £3m by the end of the 2019/20 accounting period, including a short-term £120,000 loan from the EFL as part of measures to help clubs cope with the pandemic.

While the club had not borrowed any further cash from Edinburgh Woollen Mill in 2019/20, they were left owing "£2.25m of capital and interest" by the end of last June.

United have revealed the figures ahead of the publication of their full financial statements.

It lays bare the importance of transfer income ahead of the hugely challenging start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought football to a halt last March.

Carlisle say they suffered a reduction in "normal" recurring income of £345,000 due to the coronavirus from that point to the end of June.

"This would have been far higher but for donations in lieu of refunds from fans and businesses. We are very grateful to everyone for that," chief executive Nigel Clibbens said.

United say they received £361,000 from the government's job retention scheme as furloughing staff from March to June enabled them to protect jobs.

The sales of players, meanwhile, meant United came out of last June with £500,000 "cash in hand".

It followed a year when star Cumbrian defender Branthwaite joined Everton in a six-figure deal.

Although the teenager went on to break into the Premier League club's first team, triggering further income, that did not happen until after the 2019/20 accounting period.

Other player sales in 2019/20 included Liam McCarron's move to Leeds, Josh Galloway's departure to the same club, and Hallam Hope's January switch to Swindon.

United said not all of the £1.1m transfer income was received in the 2019/20 year.

And they said they did not need to use any of the cash from player sales to help cushion the financial blow of Covid-19 before the end of June.

Clibbens, speaking on the club website, said: "We fully absorbed all adverse financial effects of coronavirus in the year to June 30, 2020 by cost savings, donations in lieu of refunds and [the job retention scheme], before player sales.

"This meant the football fortune from cup runs and cash from player sales earned in 19/20 was not needed to pay for coronavirus impacts. 

"This was crucial in leaving cash reserves to firstly cover the significant normal losses and the cash needed in 20/21, which we incur every year and, secondly, to provide a financial cushion to cover any of the expected £1.2m of coronavirus related ‘lost income’ we might not be able to mitigate by ‘self-help’ or other measures.

"In a normal year we still need around £400,000 to £500,000 of new cash. This usually comes from football fortune or, when we are not self-funding, from external sources. In 19/20 that came from player sales.

"This meant we entered 20/21 in a sound position, even though we had no external finance expected."

United's net assets had increased to £4.9m, a rise of nearly £800,000 on the previous year.

The Blues' profit comes after the club posted an overall loss of £667,000 in the previous financial year.

Clibens, meanwhile, conceded the information just filed was largely "historic", given the accounting period ended some 10 months before the numbers were made public.

The director said he believed the EFL should require clubs to file audited accounts before December 31. "This would improve governance and transparency of clubs."

Clibbens said United would normally have filed these accounts by the end of March, but the club had used a government Covid-19 exemption to do so later in the year - by June 30.

He also said the situation with backers EWM, who fell into administration with Carlisle's debt to them now being owed to a new company, Purepay Retail Limited, was another reason for using the extension.

"The specific circumstances of the EWM administration, and its implications for the debt we owed them, mean that despite the audit being substantially completed some time ago, using this extension is unavoidable," Clibbens added.

The director said United's accounts will again be "comprehensive" and much more detailed than those of some other League Two clubs.