UTV Media has reported a 15% year-on-year increase in third-quarter advertising revenue for its television operations here.
The company last week announced plans to launch a television channel in the Republic within two years.
While ad revenue for its Irish television arm declined by 1% over the first nine months of the year, the Belfast-based media group still expects to see a 10% year-on-year increase for the fourth quarter.
Regarding its planned new television service, UTV management said that it represents “an exciting strategic step forward”.
UTV’s latest trading update — published yesterday — revealed a 7% annualised decline in group revenue for the first nine months of 2013 to £83.3m (€99.5m), but a 1% year-on-year rise for the third quarter — from £27.8m to £28.2m.
The Radio Ireland division — which oversees the likes of Cork stations C103 and 96FM; Limerick’s Live95 FM and Dublin’s Q102 and FM104 — showed a 6% annualised revenue fall for the nine months — from £15.3m to £14.5m — but a 5% year-on-year rise for the three months to the end of September, from £4.5m to £4.7m.
Regarding its Republic- based radio interests, UTV said: “The outlook for the fourth quarter is better and we expect to continue to outperform the market, with a revenue increase of 8%.” UTV’s new media division suffered a 3% year- on-year decline in revenues in the third quarter — dragged down by tough trading conditions facing its broadband internet brand, UTV Connect. Excluding the effects of the Connect business, the division saw a 16% revenue increase.
Net debt levels stood at £56.1m; up on the £52.5m last year.
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