UTV reports £11m pre-tax profit

LONDON - UTV, owner of TalkSport, Sport magazine and the ITV Northern Ireland franchise, posted a pre-tax profit of £11m in the first half of 2009, down from £15.4m last year.

TalkSport: owner UTV has posted a half-year profit of £11m
TalkSport: owner UTV has posted a half-year profit of £11m

Within its TV division, UTV said that after an 18% decline in the first quarter, TV ad revenue fell more sharply in the second quarter, resulting in a 23% reduction to £14m for the period as a whole.

It added that while TV ad revenue from its British operations "moved broadly in line with the market", its TV ad revenue from its Republic of Ireland TV operation dropped 40% in the half year.

Total revenue from its radio operations was down £2.1m, to £33.1m, with pre-tax profit falling £1.6m, to £8.2m.

Its GB radio division posted a 16% decline in revenue in the first quarter, moving back to an 11% decline in the second quarter. But it said that the overall 13% reduction in radio ad revenue over the first six months "outperformed a market that we believe was down by 16%".

No figures were released on the performance of Sport magazine, which it acquired earlier this year.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects "that as the comparative numbers become softer, the rate of decline in ad revenue will slow."

It predicted that its British radio revenue, which had declined by 13% in the first half of 2009, will ease "to no more than a 6% reduction in the third quarter".

And it said the rate of decline in the TV advertising marketplace is "slowing in this quarter and television revenue for the three months to the end of September should be down by 16%".

John McCann, group chief executive for UTV Media, said: "It is difficult to give a detailed outlook because of continuing macroeconomic uncertainty. Nonetheless, we are expecting the rate of decline in advertising to slow as comparatives ease over the coming months."

 

 

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