UTV’s latest income report says local radio revenues declined by 6 per cent in the nine months to September 2013 (9% in local currency) from £15.3m to £14.5m.
The FM104 and Q102 owner says the figure represents an outperformance against the market which is estimated to be down by around 15% in the same period. Improving market conditions in Q3 (market down around 5%), along with a positive foreign exchange impact, resulted in an increase of 5% in revenues (a decline of 2% on a local currency basis). “The outlook for Q4 is better and we expect to continue to outperform the market with a revenue increase of 8% (5% on a local currency basis),” the company said.
Overall, income at UTV Media dropped by 7 per cent in the first nine months of the year, with its UK radio division hit the hardest.
Revenue at Radio GB as a whole fell 10% to £37.1m, but there has been a pick up in the last 3 months (to end September), with group revenues up 1% and Radio GB -3%.
In London, national speech station talkSPORT suffered a 15% fall in income, when adjusted to reflect the absence of the Euro 2012 tournament. However, UTV said this represented an “outperformance of the industry decline of 8%”.
UTV recently announced plans for a new television station for Ireland, with exclusive rights for ITV Studios programmes including Coronations Street. It is expected the new station will create around 100 new jobs, and utilise facilities and staff of existing UTV radio stations.