Embargoed until 12 noon 25 May 2007
Chairman's AGM Statement
UTV Chairman, John B. McGuckian gave the following trading update at the annual
general meeting of UTV plc today.
"Your company's diversification into radio passed an important milestone in
2006 with radio revenues at 54% of total group revenue for the first time
overtaking television revenue at 37%. UTV Radio is now a significant player in
both Ireland and Great Britain and the development of this part of our business
continues to be a key focus of our corporate strategy.
"Operating profits for 2006 were broadly flat at £24.8m with increased profits
from our continuing radio operations being offset by reduced revenue in our
television division and start-up losses at our new radio stations in Edinburgh
and Belfast. We again outperformed our peer groups in 2006 and this
outperformance has continued into 2007.
In the first six months of the current year, the UK radio market is expected to
decline by 2% while our GB radio revenue is forecast to be broadly flat.
talkSPORT is expected to be up by 1.0% which, given the very strong comparative
of the World Cup period in 2006, is a particularly good performance.
"A marked outperformance in television is also evident, with our television
division expected to record a 1% reduction in first half revenue compared to an
anticipated decline of c. 10% for the ITV1 network. This would lead to a record
share of about 3%.
"Our Irish radio division is also expected to record revenue growth in the six
months to 30 June 2007, but a 2% improvement is lower than we had forecast
previously. Strong national sales growth is being tempered by what we believe
to be a short term weakness in local sales.
"Our new media division is forecast to deliver revenue growth of 15% in the
first half. We expect to complete our strategic review of this division by the
end of the second quarter.
"Overall, your company mitigated the effects of the significant decline in
television in 2006 and, through outperformance in both that division and in
radio, continues to progress well in difficult market conditions. This
outperformance leaves us well-placed to take advantage of any improvement in
For further information:
Powerscourt Media +44 20 7250 1446
Rory Godson +44 20 7324 0491
Sarah Daly +44 20 7324 0499
John McCann, Group Chief Executive +44 28 9026 2202
Paul O'Brien, Group Financial Director +44 28 9026 2098
Orla McKibbin, Head of Press and PR +44 28 9026 2188