Ad revenue losses push radio station into the red

A PLUNGE in advertising revenues last year at Clare FM resulted in the station going into the red.

Documents just filed by Clare Community Radio Holdings to the Companies Office show that the firm recorded pre-tax losses of €127,083 last year and follows the company recording a pre-tax profit of €253,409 in 2008.

The negative swing follows advertising revenues dropping by 21% last year from €2 million to €1.6m to the end of December last.

The loss last year follows successive years of the company recording profits, accumulating in €1.189m in the end of December 2008, and last year’s loss reduced the company’s accumulated profits to €1.05m.

The accounts show that the company recorded an operating loss of €11,243 last year following the company securing an operating profit of €309,403 in 2008.

However, the company’s losses were increased last year by re-organisation costs totalling €122,449.

The figures show that the numbers employed by the station last year reduced from 32 to 28 and this contributed to the company reducing its staff costs from €1m to €940,796.

The filings show that in comparison to the company’s revenues dropping by 21%, the station’s operating expenses dropped by 7% from €1.7m to €1.6m.

According to the directors’ report “the results for the year reflect the difficult trading conditions experienced in 2009 arising from the general economic downturn”.

“The directors have taken the necessary steps to reduce costs, which will allow the company meet the economic challenges going forward. The directors anticipate improved results in 2010.”

The company yesterday declined to comment on the results.

The station also declined to respond to a query that it was recently involved in talks concerning the acquisition of the Clare People newspaper. It is understood that the proposed deal fell through in recent weeks.

During 2008, Clare FM was on the verge of being sold to Radio Kerry in a €7.2m deal. That deal also fell through.

All of the company’s revenues are derived from advertising income.

The filings show that the company has a 15% interest in Spin South West Ltd that operates a Midwest-based music radio station.

The latest JNLR figures show that Clare FM’s listenership figures for October 2009 to September last show that the station’s listenership fell by one point to 43%, while the station’s market share increased by 0.3% to 42.6%.

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