Radio returns to profit growth for UTV Media

UTV expects a full-year loss of about €8.35m from its newest television channel, up from an expected loss of £3m.

This is due to delayed negotiations with advertisers and slower than expected audience build.

But in radio, the company is pleased to record a return to profit growth as revenue stayed flat.

UTV said: “Profit growth of 45% in our GB radio division was particularly strong and it was pleasing to record a return to profit growth in our Irish radio division. Despite the investment in UTV Ireland, which included a lower than budgeted capital expenditure of £5.6M, group net debt reduced by £3.4M.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc, added: “Record audiences for talkSPORT and market leading audiences in both Irish Radio and Television underpin these results, providing confidence that our new venture UTV Ireland, will emulate its older siblings and over time, build a stronger audience base. The significant uplift in GB Radio’s profitability together with the recovery in Irish Radio and Television advertising are particularly pleasing.”

In the UK, preliminary results show talkSPORT revenues were £29.7m for the year ended 31 December 2014, compared with £24.3m in 2013, boosted by the World Cup.

The company also said first quarter airtime revenue from its radio stations in England and Wales is expected to be up by 4 percent.

But there was no update on the statement from 9 January 2015, in which UTV confirmed that a review of the strategic options in respect of GB local radio stations was under way. The company advised that it may, or may not, lead to the disposal of some, or all, of its local radio stations in England and Wales.



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