UTV’s radio revenues grow

UTV Media is anticipating further growth in its Irish radio division after seeing underlying revenues rise by 1% in the first four months of this year.

The increase was measured on a local currency basis, but actually translated into a revenue decline of 2% due to the negative impact of foreign exchange movements.

Again, on a local currency basis, UTV expects to see a like-for-like sales increase of 3% for the Radio Ireland business for this month and June, but weak sterling could see May/June revenues for the division fall by 5%.

The Radio Ireland arm also includes Dublin stations FM104 and Q102 Cork stations 96FM and C103 amongst others.

The group’s British radio division saw revenue grow by 8% year-on-year, during the first four months of the year; with the impact of the upcoming European Championships and the London Olympics expected to boost revenue by around 20% over the early summer.

Elsewhere, UTV’s new media revenues were up by 3%, with sales likely to increase in the coming months on the back of early contributions from its newly acquired Dublin-based online marketing company, Simply Zesty.

UTV’s television arm saw January-April revenues fall by 3%, but revenues across May and June in this division are expected to grow by the same amount.

Elsewhere, British regional newspaper group Johnston Press has reported a 9.1% year-on-year fall in group advertising revenues for the 18-week period up to May 7.

The Edinburgh-based group — which owns 27 titles on the island of Ireland — said in its latest trading update that its advertising outlook remains “volatile”.

Johnston Press recently said that total advertising revenue fell by 9% last year, with revenue at its Irish operations down by over 19% to €11m.

Management remains relatively upbeat due to operational improvements, but recently said that no upturn in its fortunes here is likely until a general recovery in the Irish economy is evident.

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