Setanta claims big improvement on 2011 results

Setanta Sports yesterday said it has seen a dramatic improvement in the Irish group’s financial position compared to 2011.

A spokesman confirmed the improvement, as figures show that Setanta subsidiary, Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Ltd plunged into the red to record pre-tax losses of €1.47m in the 12 months to the end of December 2011.

This followed the firm recording a pre-tax profit of €55,049 in 2010.

The firm going into the red came after revenues dropped by 19%. The abridged accounts do not disclose the revenue figure.

However, the firm’s gross profit during the year declined by 48% from €3.3m to €1.78m.

The directors reported that they are satisfied that the business will generate profits in the foreseeable future. The focus of the company going forward will be to stabilise existing revenue streams and tightly control costs.

The firm had a shareholders’ deficit of €1.27m. The firm had accumulated losses of €43.35m and this was offset by a share premium account of €42m.

On the firm’s going concern status, the directors state they are confident that financial support will be available from the shareholders and that it is appropriate to adopt the going concern status.

A spokesman said: “We are yet to release our accounts for the year ending 2012. However, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the Irish group’s financial position compared to 2011.”

Asked about the firm’s projections for this year, the spokesman said: “While we don’t share financial projections, we are looking forward to improved results, particularly in the second half of 2013.

Setanta Sports employs 170 people and the spokesman said: “The addition of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN from August 1 will lead to a dramatic increase in subscriptions, primarily driven by 71 Premier League games, including 18 top-pick matches.

“Also, live FA Cup, UFC, Aviva Premiership rugby, French Top 14 and Bundesliga join the existing stable of Setanta content, all in HD.”

Marketing operations director of Setanta Sports, Brian Quinn said: “This is a very exciting time for us in Setanta with the addition of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. To have 71 Barclays Premier League games this season is fantastic.

“We feel that our initial fixture list will appeal to most football fans, but of course fans of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal will be particularly pleased.

“Having games like the Merseyside derby, Spurs v Man United and Spurs v Chelsea is a real step up in quality for us.”

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