New accounts for the Ballymount-based broadcaster’s holding company, Tullamore Alpha, show a net profit of €7.44m was recorded for 2013, compared to a loss of just over €1.06m for the prior year.
The difference was an exceptional gain of €8.9m from the buyback of TV3’s debt through the IBRC liquidation process. TV3, reportedly, had borrowings from IBRC of over €100m and the channel’s ultimate owner, private equity group, Doughty Hanson bought the loan from the bank’s special liquidators, KPMG at auction.
“The refinancing of TV3’s debt has strengthened the balance sheet, while the brand has grown to be the strongest in the television market for adults under 45. We have accelerated earnings growth in 2014, while developing the new majority-originated schedule for 2015,” said TV3 chief executive, David McRedmond.
The new figures show a 19% drop in annual operating profits to €1.11m and a 3% dip in turnover to €55.9m, but a fourth consecutive year of earnings growth, as EBITDA hit €6.6m.
“Although revenues were marginally below 2012, they were well ahead of the television advertising market, which experienced a decline of 5%. The performance was underpinned by an increase in audience share from 13.5% in 2012 to 13.7% in 2013,” management said.
Mr McRedmond described TV3’s performance through the recession as having been “remarkable”, and no more so than during last year.
“The double-dip recession was a major challenge for the company, but once again TV3 outperformed the market, both in revenue and audience growth,” he said.
The directors’ report section of the company’s latest annual accounts states that, in line with market expectation, management expects the advertising market to return to growth in 2014.
The same report also touched on the pending competitive threat to be posed by UTV, when it launches its new Republic-based service, UTV Ireland, in the new year.
“The directors of TV3 are developing a new schedule around originated, internally produced and acquired programming to replace the loss of content,” it said.
In August, the station’s bosses duly launched its 2015 programming plans, describing it as its “most ambitious and engaging schedule to date”.
Mr McRedmond also claimed that “the TV3 Group is closing the gap to being Ireland’s number one broadcaster.”