Radio pushes UTV Media's revenue higher

Tuesday 26 August 2014 15.35
UTV Ireland is expected to incur a loss of £2-3m in its first year but become profitable in the second half of 2015
UTV Ireland is expected to incur a loss of £2-3m in its first year but become profitable in the second half of 2015

Radio and television broadcaster UTV Media has reported a 13% rise in first-half revenue as its British radio stations drew in fans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The company, which held radio rights to the tournament in Britain, reported revenue of £57.8m for the six months ended 30 June compared with £51.2m a year earlier.

Revenue from UTV's largest division, Radio GB, rose 20%, with revenue at that division's talkSPORT radio station jumped 33%.

UTV said its Irish radio division - which includes FM104 in Dublin, Live95FM in Limerick and 96FM in Cork - was also boosted by "improving macroeconomic conditions" in the country, with advertising revenues begining to grow again.

It said revenues at the division rose by 8% during the six month period, though this was reduced somewhat by currency fluctuations, while operating profits were 23% higher at £2.5m. 

Revenues at the company's television business were also higher, growing 8% to £16.6m.

Profit at this division rose by 30% to £4.4m - which comes after £500,000 in start-up costs for the company's new UTV Ireland channel.

UTV said its new Irish channel - which will begin broadcasting at the start of next year - would likely incur a loss of £2m to £3m in its first year but was expected to become profitable in the second half of 2015.