TV3 returns to profit after 6% growth in revenue

TV3 RETURNED to profitability and grew its revenues by 6% last year, according to latest annual accounts filed with the Companies Office.

The accounts for Tullamore Beta — the holding company for the independent television broadcaster; its sister channel, 3e; and its online operations — show revenues of €57.3 million generated in 2010; up from a figure of €54.3m in 2009.

While the TV3 group made an operating loss of €135.3m in 2009, it returned a small operating profit of €356,000 last year.

Also evident was a pre-tax profit of €68.5m; up from a pre-tax loss of €165.4m made in 2009; a year which saw TV3 take on a one-off impairment charge.

Group chief executive, David McRedmond called 2010 a successful year for the group and said that performance this year has been in line with expectations, with the business being on track to deliver revenue and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) growth.

Commenting on the 2010 performance, Mr McRedmond said: “We refinanced the business, grew audience, revenue and profitability to begin the recovery from recession. There is a long way to go, but we are on track.”

He also touched upon the recent Competition Authority ruling that stops RTÉ offering “loyalty” discount rates to advertisers, by saying that TV3 expects to benefit from “a properly functioning market,” but added: “it is not yet clear when, or how, this will happen”.

Mr McRedmond said that in light of the Competition Authority decision, TV3 would “look forward to working with Government and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) — and, where appropriate, RTÉ — to develop long- term sustainable funding for the sector.”

He said that TV3 is outperforming the market here, but that trading conditions remain “extremely challenging”. TV3 has also said that it is building the country’s first large-scale high definition (HD) studio. Due for completion next July, the studio is set to increase the level of home production, at the company, to over 50%.

Last year saw TV3 amass a larger Irish audience than BBC1, UTV and Channel 4 combined and hit a personal record of 37% of its programming being home produced.

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