Limerick radio station owners take 15% hit

PRE-TAX profits at the company that operates the UTV-owned Limerick Live 95 radio station last year dropped by 15% to €895,680.

According to returns just made to the Companies Office, Treaty Radio Ltd also sustained a 10% decline in revenues from €3.1m to €2.8m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

However, in spite of the drop in turnover and profits, the company’s directors said they believe the company “outperformed the market, given the extremely difficult trading conditions”.

The directors state: “With operating costs reduced by 7% on a like-for-like basis, the division delivered an acceptable operating profit of €897,497.”

The station broadcasts to Limerick City and county and is one of the most popular stations in the country with the most recent JNLR survey showing listenership figures at 48%.

The station was purchased by UTV for €16m in 2002 and is one of a number of Irish radio stations that UTV owns, with the others including Dublin’s Q102, Cork’s 103FM and FM104.

Spin FM and 4FM also competing in the commercial radio market in Limerick.

Treaty Radio Ltd figures show that the company’s operating profit decreased by 16% last year from €1m to €897,497.

The accounts show that cost of sales increased from €331,652 to €377,352, with the company’s administrative expenses dropping from €1.74m to €1.54m.

The accounts show that the company at the end of 2010 had shareholders’ funds of €8.5m, including accumulated profits of €8.2m.

Company staff costs decreased from €1.27m to €1.11m with numbers employed decreasing by seven from 39 staff to 32.

They are 13 staff in programming, seven in news, six in sales and promotion, five in administration and one in accounts.

The accounts show that the directors’ fees, emoluments, including pension contributions, dropped sharply from €195,675 to €118,251.

In 2007, Limerick Live 95 FM successfully fought off a bid by a new Limerick consortium to acquire the license from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) for the Limerick area until 2017.

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