Sunday 22 September 2019

Revenue up, costs down at Communicorp


Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Today FM and Newstalk owner Communicorp Media is expecting a restructuring begun in 2017 to deliver cost savings of up to 10pc, building on savings already booked last year.

Accounts just filed for the Denis O'Brien-owned business show revenues rose 2pc last year to €47.4m, while direct and operating expenses fell 1pc as a result of restructuring including the consolidation of its Dublin-based stations in a single location at Marconi House.

Overall, the accounts record an operating loss of €500,000 for 2017 compared to a loss in 2016 of €2.1m.

Two subsidiaries, Communicorp's UK operations and Appliances Delivered, were moved outside the group at the end of 2017, accounts show, and the filing also records the sale of its Bulgarian radio business in June this year, to local management.

That leaves Communicorp Media as an Irish-focused radio business.

The chairperson of Communicorp Media, Lucy Gaffney, said the Irish radio business is outperforming in a "challenging environment". The group has also been developing new digital revenues to mitigate the risks posed by shifting advertising trends, she said.

"The radio sector remains a cornerstone of Irish society with over 88pc of people tuning in every week. However, the industry shift towards digital continues to put pressure on traditional media.

"To mitigate this risk, in 2018 Communicorp Media launched "audioXi", a sales house for digital audio, which represents Communicorp's own digital content plus a number of premium third-party publishers throughout Ireland," she said.

The group has also launched five streaming online stations - including Today FM 80's - to help capture a more significant share of consumer's time, and the digital revenue market, she added.

Irish Independent

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