UTV reports 12% rise in profit

UTV Media, owner of talk radio station TalkSport and the Northern Ireland franchise of ITV, has posted a 12% rise in first-half pre-tax profit. The group attributes the rise to it non-TV businesses.

It has also reported that group pre-tax profit for the first half was £10.4m, before one-off costs on sales up 8% to £62m. Operating profit from other businesses, such as radio and the internet, rose 32% year-on-year to £9m, with total revenue up 15% to £36.4m. Ulster-based UTV owns more than 20 radio stations across the UK and Ireland.

The group saw a 4% decline in revenue from TV advertising to £18.3m over the period and it forecasts a further decline of 5% for the next quarter. It compares to a predicted 13% fall in revenue for ITV and a 9% decline for the wider industry.

Group chief executive, John McCann, says: “I am particularly pleased to report strong performances in both our radio and news media divisions.”

He adds that the performance is a further indication that the group’s strategy of diversifying out of pure TV is “the right one”.

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