UTV Media plc (the "Group")
16 May 2008
Interim Management Statement
UTV Media plc is publishing the following Interim Management Statement, its
first such statement, in advance of the Group's AGM to be held today at 12noon
in the Group Headquarters at Ormeau Road, Belfast. This statement covers the
period from the beginning of the Group's financial year, 1 January 2008, to the
date of this announcement and incorporates the Group's four month trading
period ending 30 April 2008.
In those four months the Group achieved revenue growth of 7%. Excluding the
impact of the FM104 and Tibus acquisitions, which completed during the period
under review, the like for like growth was 4%. Underlying growth was driven by
the performance of our Radio businesses and we believe this growth will be
maintained for the remainder of the six month period ending 30 June 2008. The
Group delivered its budgeted operating profit for the four month trading period
ending 30 April 2008.
Trading Performance for the four month period ending 30 April 2008 and Outlook
by Business Division
Overall our GB Radio division increased revenues by 7% compared to the overall
market which is understood to have grown by 4% during this period. Revenue
growth for the six months to 30 June 2008 is expected to be maintained at 7%.
talkSPORT performed extremely well with revenue growth of 19%, demonstrating
the continued strong demand for the product. This level of growth is expected
to be maintained for the remainder of the six months ending 30 June 2008.
Revenue in our independent local radio stations was down by 3% against a local
radio market which was broadly flat. This performance is expected to continue
for the remainder of the first half of this year.
talk107, our start up speech station in Edinburgh, is performing in line with
budget expectations. The launch date for talkRADIO, our second national speech
station due to launch on the second national multiplex, is likely to be delayed
to allow for completion of the transmission infrastructure. As a result of this
delay, losses associated with this investment in 2008 are likely to be
Our Television division is performing broadly in line with the network,
recording a 3% decline in revenues compared to a 3% decline in the ITV1
Network. This trend is set to continue for the six month period.
Our Radio Ireland division experienced growth of 32%, with sterling translation
exchange gains and acquisitions accounting for 15% and 9% of the growth
respectively. Like for like growth of 8% was underpinned by strong national
agency revenues. We would expect this level of like for like growth to be
maintained for the six month period. U105, our start up station in Belfast, is
performing in line with budget expectations.
Our New Media division benefited from the acquisition of Tibus in February
2008, growing revenues by 12%. Revenues on a like for like basis decreased by
4%, but this was offset by improving margins. We would expect this trend to
continue for the six month period.
Recent Corporate Activity
On the 15 May 2008, the Group disposed of its loss making station, Wave 102, in
Dundee for a modest consideration.
On 13 February 2008, the Group announced the acquisition of Tibus, a leading
all Ireland web development company, which is being integrated into UTV's New
Media division. Tibus specialises in providing online services for clients
across a broad range of business sectors as well as central and local
government. The Group currently provides web development, design, hosting and
interactivity to a largely retail customer base, and broadband and telephony
services to the residential market. Tibus' expertise will extend these services
to commercial and institutional customers. The online presence of the Group's
television and radio stations will be enhanced by the acquisition of Tibus and
will facilitate greater integration of media across online and broadcast
At the General Meeting on 7 April 2008, shareholders approved the acquisition
of FM104, the leading commercial radio station in Dublin and one of the most
listened to stations in that city and completion took place on 10 April 2008.
This acquisition has significantly enhanced the Group's presence in the
critical and highly competitive Dublin radio market and represents a further
significant step in the implementation of its' stated strategy of building a
network of leading radio stations in Ireland's key urban areas.
Summary and Outlook
The Group overall has had a strong start to the year. Expectations for the year
as a whole are unchanged from those indicated at our results announcement on
the 13 March 2008.
Save as outlined above, there has been no material change in the Group's
financial position during the period.
This report contains certain forward-looking statements with regards to the
financial condition and results of the operations of UTV Media plc. These
statements and forecasts involve risk factors which are associated with, but
are not exclusive to, the economic and business circumstances occurring from
time to time in the countries and sectors in which the Group operates. These
forward-looking statements are made only as at the date of this announcement.
Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast. Other
than as required by law, UTV Media plc undertakes no obligation to update the
For further information contact:
Maitland +44 (0) 20 7379 5151
UTV Media plc
John McCann Group Chief Executive +44 28 9026 2202
Paul O'Brien Group Finance Director +44 28 9026 2098
Orla McKibbin Head of Communications +44 28 9026 2188