UTV’s radio sector revenue falls 5%

THE first four months of the year saw a 5% year-on-year fall in revenue in UTV’s Irish radio operations, partially driven by exchange rate fluctuations.

The division, which includes Dublin stations Q102 and FM104 and Cork stations 96FM and C103, also saw a 2% revenue fall in 2010.

However, UTV said its television and radio divisions, as a whole, have enjoyed a good start to the year, outperforming their respective markets, and are currently on track to meet expectations for this year.

In its latest interim management statement, the Belfast-based media group said group revenues rose 3% year-on-year in the first four months of 2011.

“In the current environment of economic uncertainty, airtime bookings offer limited forward visibility and we, therefore, remain cautious about the remainder of the year,” UTV’s management said, although they did add that net debt levels continue to improve.

At the publication of its 2010 full-year results, earlier this year, UTV said the Irish market remains “extremely difficult”, but called last year’s performance here “robust”, despite the challenging market conditions.

Yesterday, it said: “Revenue in our Radio Ireland division declined by 5% in the period to April 30 compared to last year, with sterling translation exchange losses accounting for 2%. The like-for-like decline in sales was, therefore, 3%. It’s expected that this like-for-like trend will continue in May and June.”

Meanwhile, UTV’s British radio division saw revenues grow 4% year-on-year, in the four-month period under review (against a backdrop of a 2% fall in the wider market), while its television business revenues were up 8%, year-on-year.


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