UTV Media's first quarter revenues down on weak markets

Thursday 16 May 2013 18.29
UTV's Radio Ireland revenues down by 8% in first three months of the year
UTV's Radio Ireland revenues down by 8% in first three months of the year

Broadcaster UTV Media has said its first-quarter revenue fell 5%, hurt mainly by a weak performance at its British radio business, which includes the sports radio station Talksport.

In a trading update, the company said that the challenges experienced in the first quarter are expected to continue in the second quarter.

It forecast year-on-year revenue declines due to adverse market conditions and the absence of a major sporting event in the first half of 2013.

UTV said that its Radio Ireland revenues were down by 8% to £4.9m sterling from £5.3m in the first three months of the year due to the on-going ''volatile market conditions in Ireland''. 

It said that second quarter revenues are anticipated to be down by 6% compared to last year.

The company owns several radio stations in Ireland including Q102, FM104, 96FM and LMFM.

Meanwhile Galway Bay FM, which is wholly-owned by Connacht Tribune Ltd, and Beat FM, owned by Landmark Media, are clients of the group's sales division, UTV Radio Services.

Revenue at the company's core Radio GB business fell 7% to £12.2m in the three months to the end of March. Revenue from Talksport fell by 10%.

The Northern Ireland based company said that total television revenue fell by 3% with net advertising revenue (NAR) falling by 2%. It said its Irish offices saw a decline of 12% in NAR due to difficult market conditions.

''Encouragingly, our revenues from our Irish offices are expected to be up by 1% in Q2 compared to the same period in 2012, while London revenues are anticipated to be down largely to the impact of Euro 2012 in the prior year,'' the company added in today's trading statement.

Group revenue was £28.1m during the quarter, down from £29.5m a year earlier.