Losses narrow at Murdoch-owned Irish radio group

FM104 owner’s revenue jumps 17 per cent year on year

Revenue at the Irish arm of Wireless, the radio group owned by Rupert Murdoch, grew 17 per cent to €22.06 million in the year to July last year.

New accounts filed by Wireless Radio (ROI) Ltd show that revenues increased by €3.2 million while pretax losses narrowed 42 per cent to €2.58 million in the 12 months to the end of July 3rd.

The directors of the radio group, which operates Cork’s 96FM and FM104 in Dublin, state that “digital revenues in particular delivered significant growth in the period and we continued to invest in this area to promote future growth”.

The group also owns Limerick’s Live95 FM and Q102 in Dublin and the accounts show that group earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased from €645,000 to €2.63 million.


The News Corporation owned group – which also operates LMFM – last year recorded post-tax losses of €942,000 after recording a corporation tax credit of €1.64 million.

The directors stated that “economic conditions were difficult during the period, compounded by the war in Ukraine, Brexit and the ongoing challenges of spiralling utilities costs. The continued migration of revenue to unregulated digital operators also adds to these challenges.”

They added that “in spite of these challenges, however, the company continues to benefit from an improved revenue performance as we return to normality post-Covid and we commend the continuous support and dedication of our staff throughout this turbulent period”.

The group’s local stations “deliver significant listenership in their respective franchise areas and combine to offer a quasi-national urban targeted commercial proposition,” they said.

Numbers employed by the group last year declined from 240 to 201 with staff costs rising marginally from €10.56 million to €10.99 million. Directors’ pay totalled €287,000.

At the end of June last, the group had a shareholders’ deficit of €9.39 million. This was made up of accumulated losses of €53 million offset by share capital of €43.56 million. The group’s cash increased from €492,000 to €1.05 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times