UTV Media delivered mixed results as the Euro 2012 boosted TalkSport revenues posting a 16% rise in year-on-year to £17.2 million, but Olympics created a black hole in its TV’s advertising revenues.
TalkSport’s success story fuelled a 14% year-on-year increase in operating profits across UTV’s radio operation to £10 million. UTV’s GB Radio division which includes TalkSport posted increased revenues by 3% to £10.7 million.
The radio operations helped offset TV’s weak performance which saw the operating profits fall 32% year-on-year in the first half to £2.1 million. TV advertising revenues fell 3% in the year to the end of June, falling below the performance of ITV1 network as a whole, which was flat.
Revenues in Ireland declined by 1% to £10.8 million, which UTV said it was pleased with given a 10% fall in ad revenue in the overall Irish market. Operating profit for the Irish radio division increased by 5% to £3.1million.
UTV said the national advertising performance was in line with the ITV network but the ad sales were to be blamed on Ireland, with an 8% fall year-on-year in the first half.
UTV Media also attributed £196,000 exceptional charge to start-up costs relating to the start of live international radio broadcasts of Premier League matches outside Europe.
The company said the costs will include an increase in office space to house more editorial and commercial staff , which will come to £800,000 by the end of the year. Excluding this figure, the group profit before tax and exceptional items rose 3% year-on-year to £11.2 million. The interim dividend has increased 17%, from 1.5p to 1.75p, for the six months to the end of June.