UTV Media has said it expects a full-year loss of about £6m (€8.35m) from its newest television channel, UTV Ireland, up from an expected loss of £3m. 

The company said the increase is due to delayed negotiations with advertisers and slower than expected audience build.

UTV Media today reported operating profit for 2014 of £19.7m, down marginally on the £20.1m in 2013. The figure includes £3m in start-up costs for UTV Ireland.

Pre-tax profits for the year to the end of December came in at £17.2m, up marginally from the restated figure of £17m in 2013. Group revenue came in at £116m, up from £107.2m in 2013.

The group noted that foreign exchange headwinds were impacting profitability across its radio and TV services in Ireland.

UTV said its Irish radio stations delivered "impressive audience performances" last year and the company said it was seeing a recovery in advertising, though the euro exchange rate did impact on growth.

It said it expects Irish radio advertising revenues to be broadly flat in the first quarter of this year, with further weakening of the euro reducing this to around 10% down.

UTV said first-quarter revenue at its talkSPORT radio station, which owns exclusive rights to broadcast 380 Barclay's Premier League football matches outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland until 2019, would fall 2%. 

First-quarter airtime revenue from UTV's largest division, Radio GB, is expected to rise 4%, the company 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," commented UTV Media's group CEO John McCann. 

"The significant uplift in GB Radio's profitability together with the recovery in Irish Radio and Television advertising are particularly pleasing," he added.