Sunday 18 August 2019

Newstalk owner has 63pc boost in revenue

Businessman Denis O'Brien
Businessman Denis O'Brien
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Revenue at radio group Communicorp, which is owned by businessman Denis O'Brien, jumped 63pc to €69.1m last year as it acquired stations in the UK and business improved at existing assets.

Accounts for the business show that operating profits at the company, which in Ireland owns Newstalk, 98FM and Today FM, rose to €2.3m from €2m a year earlier.

However, exceptional items, shares of losses in associate undertakings, and interest charges pushed it to a pre-tax loss of €2.6m. That compared to a pre-tax loss of €4m in 2013.

Last year, Communicorp acquired eight radio stations in the UK from Global Radio Group. Audience figures at those stations rose by 9.6pc to 3.33 million from March last year to the end of December.

Communicorp also owned radio stations in Latvia, where it was the largest radio station operator. It sold those assets in September this year. It also owns radio stations in Bulgaria.

The group noted that trading conditions in Ireland had continued to improve last year, resulting in turnover growth of 8pc at its businesses here.

Communicorp chief executive Gervaise Slowey said that she was pleased with last year's results.

"We have successfully grown our audiences across all of our territories," Ms Slowey said.

Irish Independent

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