Tough market hits UTV Media revenues

But company expects to see rise in Irish TV income in second quarter

Revenues at UTV media dipped in the first quarter, and the company said it remained cautious about its outlook for the coming year.

Revenues at UTV media dipped in the first quarter, and the company said it remained cautious about its outlook for the coming year.

 

CIARA O’BRIEN

Revenues at UTV Media continued to fall in the first three months of the year as the company experienced challenging conditions across its markets.

But it was predicting better days ahead for its Irish television division, with figures set to rise by 1 per cent in the second quarter, after a first quarter performance that saw ad revenue fall by 12 per cent.

Group revenue was down 5 per cent year on year to £28.1 million for the quarter, with UTV's radio and TV divisions experiencing difficult trading conditions. Only the new media division saw a rise in revenue, increasing by 9 per cent year on year to £3.1 million.

But although UTV's Irish radio division saw its income dip by 7 per cent to £4.9 million in the first quarter and said it expects a fall of 6 per cent in the second quarter of the year, the company said it believed it was still outperforming the market. UTV blamed volatile market conditions for the slump.

The UK radio market was also difficult in the first three months of the year, with UTV's division seeing revenue fall by 7 per cent to £21.2 million over the period. Its Talksport channel fell by 10 per cent, and UTV said it expects the station to lag the market in the coming three months, blaming the impact of Euro 2012 for an expected 14 per cent slump.

Overall revenue in the TV division fell by 3 per cent to £7.9 million, with net advertising income 2 per cent lower.

"Industry forecasts for radio and television are positive for both 2013 and 2014," UTV said. "However given the current challenging conditions we remain cautious about the outcome for the year and we have therefore implemented additional cost saving measures."