UTV reports revenue rise as advertising picks up
REVENUE continued to rise at UTV in the first three months of the year as the recovery of the UK and Irish advertising market gained momentum.
Group revenue rose 7pc between January and March to £27.8m (€34m), the Belfast-based broadcaster said in an interim management statement, including a 6pc rise in its Irish radio business to £5.1m (€6.2m). This outperformed the market average, UTV said, which only grew by about 4pc.
British radio revenue did even better, up 10pc to £13.3m (€16.2m) , while revenues from its television division gained 4pc to £9.4m (€11.5m). This pace of growth is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, as its TalkSPORT radio stations benefit in the run-up to the football World Cup.
Revenue should increase by 18pc in the second quarter of 2014 and by 12pc for the first six months, the company said.
Analysts said the results were strong. "Overall, it is very encouraging to see continued momentum in the business and the recovery in advertising markets for UTV is evident in these results," wrote Goodbody analyst Gavin Kelleher in a note to clients.
UTV management also commented on the progress of work on its new Irish station, which is due for launch next year. "It is encouraging that revenue growth has returned to the Irish television market as we progress our plans to launch a new channel in 2015," they said.
"With ITV Studios programming providing the spine of the schedule, we are well advanced in acquiring additional attractive programming and in developing high-quality local programming which will appeal to Irish viewers.
"We have appointed key personnel with proven track records in the Irish marketplace who will be supported by our already strong media team and existing base of high-quality media assets in Ireland."