UTV Ireland losses set to mount to more than €18m
UTV Media expects its new Ireland television station to make a loss of about £13m (€18.2m) in its first full year of operations.
Last month the Northern Irish company announced that it had agreed to sell the station to ITV as part of a £100m deal.
The deal is part of an acquisition of all UTV Media's television stations, including its Northern Irish channel. It is contingent on the approval of regulators and shareholders.
In a trading update issued this morning UTV said "the uncertainty created by the speculation around these discussions and the time to completion of the agreement has had, and is continuing to have, a negative impact upon trading within our Irish television business.
"As a result, the board anticipates that losses for this business for the full year 2015 will be approximately £13m.
"Trading within our Northern Irish television business and our radio division is broadly in line with the board’s expectations."
The estimate of £13m is up from the company's prediction made at the end of June that UTV Ireland would make a full year loss of £11.5m.
UTV Ireland, which launched in January, has had a rocky start with revenue falling below expectations in its first six months because of a slower-than- predicted build in audience numbers. It posted an operating loss of €10.2m for the period.