Tuesday 24 September 2019

Brexit hits profits at owner of Today FM

Commenting on the 2016 figures, Communicorp chairwoman Lucy Gaffney said investment into the business and currency swings linked to Brexit had had an impact on the results.
Commenting on the 2016 figures, Communicorp chairwoman Lucy Gaffney said investment into the business and currency swings linked to Brexit had had an impact on the results.
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Irish revenues were up last year at radio group Communicorp, although overall sales were down compared to 2015.

Financial accounts just filed show revenues of €83.76m in 2016 were drawn roughly evenly from the Irish business (€42.8m), and from the rest of Europe (€40m).

Revenues in 2015 had been €85.6m.

Across the group losses after tax, financing costs and currency translation increased in 2016 to €4.5m, as the broadcaster was hit by currency movements on its UK income and as it absorbed the costs of launching new ventures including online retail business Appliances Delivered in Ireland.

Commenting on the 2016 figures, Communicorp chairwoman Lucy Gaffney said investment into the business and currency swings linked to Brexit had had an impact on the results.

"Despite a difficult year for the entire media industry, we are very happy that we increased the revenue of our Irish business by 4pc," Ms Gaffney said.

"However, this revenue growth was offset by the considerable investment in AppliancesDelivered.ie, which was established to capitalise on the consumer shift to online shopping, and in a number of new business initiatives in our radio stations."

The business is "very confident of a strong 2018", she said.

"The radio sector remains a cornerstone of Irish society with over 90pc of people tuning in every week," Ms Gaffney added.

"However, the industry shift towards digital revenue has put pressure on all traditional media. As a result, we have reorganised the very core of our radio business, consolidated our sales force and invested further in creative solutions for our advertising partners such as the recent launch of Offtheball.com.

"These changes will help us to capture a more significant market share of a very competitive and evolving media industry."

Denis O'Brien-owned Communicorp's Irish operations include Today FM, Newstalk, 98FM and SPIN 1038.

In the UK, where it is the fourth-largest commercial radio group, its brands include Capital and Heart. In Bulgaria, BG Radio broadcasts in 18 cities and is the country's biggest commercial broadcaster.

The accounts show staff numbers in 2016 were 540, little changed from the previous year.

Communicorp this year overhauled its internal structures, including centralising all of its advertising sales to the agency Media Central, merging some senior roles and elimination of CEO posts at Newstalk, Spin and 98FM.

That followed the appointment of new CEO Adrian Serle at the end of 2016. Upfront costs linked to those changes will be reflected in this year's financial results.

Irish Independent

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