UTV Media plc (the "Group")
6 November 2008
Interim Management Statement
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 ten month trading period ended 31 October 2008. In that period the
Group achieved revenue growth of 6%. Excluding the impact of the FM104 and
Tibus acquisitions, which completed during the period under review, like for
like revenue and operating costs were broadly in line with last year.
Revenue in our GB Radio division in the 10 months to October was in line with
the same period last year compared to an overall market which is estimated to
have declined by 6% in this period.
Revenue in November / December is forecast to be in line with last year with
the market forecast to be down by 10%.
Earlier this year we took action to remedy the underperformance of our new
radio station in Edinburgh, talk107. Despite some improvement, it now seems
unlikely that this station can be brought to profitability in a reasonable
timescale, particularly in the current market conditions. Therefore, we have
decided to curtail our investment in talk107 by offering it for sale. In the
event that sale terms can't be agreed, we would propose to close the station
and return the licence to Ofcom.
As a shareholder in the consortium which won the licence to operate the second
national digital multiplex, we were surprised by the majority shareholder C4's
unilateral decision to withdraw from the provision of digital radio services.
This decision undermined the business model upon which the consortium's
application was based and, consequently, it would seem unlikely that the
multiplex will launch in the foreseeable future.
Our Ireland Radio division delivered growth of 50% in the ten months to October
with sterling translation gains and acquisitions accounting for 15% and 32% of
the growth respectively. Like for like growth was 3%.
Revenue in November / December is forecast to be broadly flat against last year
on a like for like basis.
Revenue in the ten months to October declined by 6%, compared with a network
decline of 7%.
Advertising revenue in November / December is forecast to be down by 10%.
With the acquisition of Tibus, revenue in our new media business was up by 15%
in the 10 months to October with strong margin improvement. Revenue for the
year is forecast to be 15% up on last year.
Update on Financing Position
On 15 July 2008 the Company issued 38,361,0111 shares by way of a Rights Issue,
raising approximately £49.9m. The net proceeds of the Rights Issue received by
the Company have been used to reduce the group's debt and, consequently, its
In conjunction with the Rights Issue, on 25 July 2008 the Group put in place a
revised banking facility which comprises a five year, £95 million and €50
million debt facility.
The increased fragility of the financial markets reinforces the importance of
having secured refinancing of our debt through to 2013.
Summary and Outlook
In our Interim Statement on 26 August 2008, we referred to the difficulty of
predicting revenue for the rest of the year because of the considerable
uncertainty of global and national economies. That uncertainty has been
exacerbated by the turmoil in the financial markets over the past two months.
However, each of our operating divisions continues to perform well relative to
their peer groups and the positive effects of a significant cost reduction
programme across the Group should start to be evident in the early part of
For further information contact:
Maitland +44 (0) 20 7379 5151
UTV Media plc
John McCann Group Chief Executive +44 (0) 28 9026 2202
Jim Downey Group Finance Director +44 (0) 28 9026 2176
Orla McKibbin Head of Communications +44 (0) 28 9026 2188