Business Irish

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Ad market boost for UTV

Laura Noonan

UTV expects its Irish advertising revenue to be down by just 3pc for May and June, as the market here continues to show signs of "stabilisation".

The prediction came as the Belfast-based media giant revealed advertising across its five radio stations in the Republic fell by just 5pc in the first four months of the year.

The figures mark a significant improvement on 2009, when life-for-like revenues at UTV's Radio Ireland division dropped 16pc.

"The outcome so far is slightly better than anticipated," UTV commercial director Jim Downey said.

Mr Downey stressed, however, that the division's full-year performance would be "very much driven" by the fourth quarter of the year.

"We don't see any major problems or risks in quarter three, but we have absolutely no visibility over quarter four," he added.

Irish TV revenue has also improved, falling 13pc in the four-month period against a fall of close to 30pc last year.

Any uplift in Irish TV revenues will be dwarfed by the World Cup boom in Britain, where UTV makes 75pc of its TV revenues.

UTV expects revenue across its TV division to rise by 19pc for May and June, well up on a global rise of 1pc for the first four months of the year.

"Dublin money isn't coming in at all for the World Cup, but we're seeing a lot of activity in London," said Mr Downey.

"We haven't seen football money in a long time, not for the last two World Cups or European Championships, so we're really glad to get it."

The World Cup boost is expected to deliver a revenue uplift of 5pc to 10pc at UTV's Talksport radio station and an annualised rise of about 3pc across UTV TV. Group-wide, UTV grew revenue by 5pc in absolute terms for the first four months and by 3pc after stripping out currency impacts and the first-time contribution from 'Sport' magazine.

The results were welcomed by stockbrokers Goodbody as "solid" and in line with expectations, while Davy said the performance showed "evident signs of a recovery in advertising markets".

Irish Independent

Also in Business