Revenues at UTV’s Irish radio division rose eight per-cent during the first six month period trading period of 2014, whilst operating profits were 23% higher at £2.5m.
Across the group, revenue grew 13%, pre-tax profit is up 62% and group operating profit saw a growth of 41%.
“Our Irish radio advertising revenues continued to respond positively to the improving macroeconomic conditions in Ireland. On a local currency basis, our Irish radio revenues were up by 8% in the first six months, but exchange rate movements held this to a 5% increase in sterling terms at £10.3m (2013: £9.8m). Despite the adverse currency translation, operating profit in our Irish radio division was up by 23% to £2.5m (2013: £2.1m),” Chairman Richard Huntingford said.
The company’s national speech station in the UK, talkSPORT, has been enjoying strong growth in the first half of the year thanks to advertising around the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Revenues in the GB radio business increased by 20% to £28.5m (2013: £23.7m) with operating profit increasing by more than £3.7m to £6.1m (2013: £2.4m).
The Live 95FM, Q102 and C103 owner is getting ready to launch UTV Ireland and plans are well underway, according to the latest report. It is anticipated to incur a first year operating loss of £2.0m to £3.0m with profitability expected in the second half of 2015.