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Ulster T.V. PLC (UTV)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 26 March, 2001

Ulster T.V. PLC

Final Results

Ulster Television PLC
26 March 2001

                            ULSTER TELEVISION plc

                          FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR 2000

Highlights :-

-     Television operating profit up by 20% to £14.3m (1999:£11.9m)

-     Group operating profit before goodwill up by 13% to £13.4m (1999 : £

-     Television advertising revenue up by 6.2% to £38.9m (1999 : £36.6m)

-     Adjusted earnings per share up by 14% to 18.34p (1999 : 16.04p)

-     Recommended final dividend for 2000 of 5.10p making a total for the year
      of 8.70p (1999 : 7.50p) an increase of 16%.

-     Acquisition on 2 March 2000 of UTV Internet Ltd (formerly Direct Net
      Access Ltd) for £4.4m

Developments Since Year End :-

-     On the 26 February 2001 the Independent Radio and Television Commission
      in Ireland (IRTC) approved in principle the acquisition by Ulster
      Television of 60% of County Media Ltd, an independent local radio station
      based in Cork

-     Ulster Television agreed to join a consortium to bid for the ITV news
      contract currently held by ITN. The consortium members will each own 20%
      of the new Company which, in addition to Ulster Television, will be made
      up of BSkyB, CBS, Chrysalis and Bloomberg.

For Further Information :-
John McCann                         Ulster Television plc      028 9026 2201

Jim Downey                          Ulster Television plc      028 9026 2176

Bobby Leach/Sarah Moriarty          Shandwick                  020 7329 0096




Your Company continued to make excellent progress during 2000. Television
operating profit increased by 20% to £14.3m (1999: £11.9m) and group operating
profit before amortisation of goodwill increased by 13% to £13.4m (1999: £
11.9m) after accounting for UTV Internet's operating loss of £841k.

Pre-tax profits of £27.0m included the exceptional profit of £13.4m generated
from the sale of the remainder of our shareholding in Societe Europeenne des
Satellites (S.E.S.). The profit compares with £7.8m in 1999, which included an
exceptional charge for fundamental restructuring costs of £4.8m.

Adjusted earnings per share increased by 14% to 18.34p (1999: 16.04p).


Your Board is recommending a final dividend for 2000 of 5.1p (1999: 4.4p),
which, together with the interim already paid of 3.6p (1999: 3.1p), amounts to
a total dividend for the year of 8.7p (1999: 7.5p). This represents a 16%
increase over the previous year. The final dividend will be paid on 4 June
2001 to shareholders on the Register at the close of business on 6 April 2001.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on 1 June 2001.


Group turnover increased by 6.5% to £40.8m (1999: £38.3m) with UTV Internet
contributing £0.9m to this figure. Television advertising and sponsorship
income improved by 6.4% to £39.8m (1999: £37.4m). UTV television advertising
revenues are supported by demand from both the national and increasingly the
regional economies. Hence, while we did not share fully in the strong,
advertising revenue enjoyed by some ITV companies (particularly in London) in
the first half of the year, we have been less affected by the much-publicised
drop-off in advertising revenues experienced by some companies in the second
half. UTV's strong market position is demonstrated by our advertising revenue
increase of 6.2% for the year which is ahead of the ITV average of 5%.

Granada Media's acquisition of the television assets of United News & Media
signalled the end of our sales house, TSMS, as a separate entity.
Nevertheless, the demise of TSMS provided an opportunity for us to review the
totality of our sales arrangements and in October we reached agreement with
Granada Media, the largest of the media sales houses in the UK, to sell our
television airtime and sponsorship for a five year period commencing 1 January


We continue to be confident that the Internet will play an important role
through the delivery of information, entertainment, education and a host of
transactional opportunities which are already changing the structures of many
familiar industries. Our strategy was, and is, to use our brand strength
throughout Ireland to create an internet platform with inherent recognition
and consumer loyalty and, consequently, much of our marketing effort was
directed towards our on-screen activity which contributed to the growth in our
television advertising revenue. Supported by off-screen promotions, this
activity was instrumental in trebling our customer base since the launch of
UTV Internet on 7 June 2000. During this time we have launched a number of
products for both residential and business consumers but it is in the nature
of this evolving industry that innovative marketing strategies and pricing
structures must be developed both to stimulate the market and to respond to
competitive pressures.


As part of our strategy to develop a broader media base, we sought to identify
local radio stations in Ireland with strong branding and an affinity with
their audiences, demonstrated by solid listenership performance. County Media
Limited, with three local radio licences in Cork city and county and with a
listenership share in the region consistently greater than 50% met our
criteria. We reached agreement with the shareholders in County Media on 23rd
November 2000 to acquire 100% of the company and submitted the agreement to
the regulator, the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC), for
approval. The IRTC was unable to agree to our proposal, though it did
acknowledge many positive aspects and advised us that it would be reviewing
its policy guidelines.

We renegotiated our agreement to effectively acquire a 60% shareholding in
County Media with the balance of 40% being the subject of a put and call
arrangement with the vendors. As announced on 27 February, this agreement was
approved in principle by the IRTC. It is our intention to acquire 100% of
County Media as soon as the regulatory environment permits and, therefore, we
are continuing to advance our case with the IRTC for less restrictive
ownership rules.


In January of 2001, we joined a consortium comprising 20% holdings by Sky
News, CBS, Bloomberg, Chrysalis and Ulster Television which intends to apply
to the ITC for nominated news provider status and, thereafter, to submit
proposals to ITV for the supply of their news. Our partners in the newly
formed company, Channel Three News Ltd., are prestigious companies with
established reputations in news and programme production and we are confident
of the consortium's ability to prepare a profitable business plan which will
provide a high quality service at a competitive price. The costs of forming
the company and submitting proposals to the ITC and ITV will be modest.


The sluggish performance of ITV advertising revenue in the early part of 2001
was, perhaps, predictable given the exceptionally strong growth in the same
period last year which had been fuelled to a significant degree by a surge in marketing expenditure. That growth coincided with a period of relative
underperformance in ITV ratings, and, consequently, some advertisers
experienced substantial cost inflation. Coupled with the current lack of
clarity as to how the economy might be moving, particularly in the period of a
general election, advertisers appear reluctant to make strong commitments.
However, ITV ratings have recently improved which should provide a better
basis for a return to growth in the second half of the calendar year. The peak
time share for UTV in the first two months of the year was 42%, which
continues to place us firmly at the top end of the ratings table of ITV
companies, delivering excellent value for advertisers.

As we did not benefit from the substantial increase in advertising
expenditure last year, we are less likely to be affected by any retreat that
may happen this year. Additionally, deriving advertising revenue from three
marketplaces in London, Belfast and Dublin tends to moderate the peaks and
troughs associated with only one market. While we are not immune from the
effects of a short term adjustment in the allocation of top-line advertising
budgets to ITV, nevertheless the combination of market diversity and excellent
ratings will ensure that we are able to maximise revenue opportunities and
again improve our share of total ITV advertising income in the current year.

Our programme costs for the current year will experience upward pressures as a
result both of increased investment by the network centre and of the
improvement in our share of advertising revenue in 2000. Despite this, we have
set ourselves a target of containing our total television operating costs at
the same level as 2000, a reduction in real terms.

Our internet business will be vital in bringing together the various media
elements of your Company and delivering them to an audience who have changing
demands and needs. Technological advances are enabling us to provide content
on demand to a broader geographic base, often involving the audience through
interactive content. We are continuing to build on what is already one of the
island's most visited web sites through expansion of our news and programme
sites which support and enhance our television and radio audience.

We will work to develop new and innovative products which will enable us to
continue to grow our customer base, and upon completion of our acquisition in
Cork, it is our intention to launch services directly targeted at users in the
Munster region, supported by local content and interaction. While growth
remains a key objective, nevertheless our focus for the year ahead is to bring
our internet business to profitability in the second half of the calendar


The Earl of Antrum retired from our board on 3 February 2000, as did Roland
Benner on 7 July 2000. They served your Company with distinction for many
years and, on behalf of their colleagues, I wish to place on record my deep
appreciation for their contribution to its deliberations. I would take this
opportunity to welcome our former Financial Controller, Jim Downey, to the
Board and to wish them every success in his new role.

The commitment and dedication of all our staff is evident from these results,
from the rapid uptake of our internet services and from the continuing
popularity and high standards of our television service. I wish to thank
everyone in the Company for their part in producing another year of record

John B McGuckian


26 March 2001




Television operating profit for the year increased by 20% to £14.3m (1999 : £
11.9m) on turnover of £39.9m (1999 : £38.3m). We continued our drive to
control costs with the result that we were able to reduce our total television
operating costs by 3% to £25.7m (1999 : £26.5m) improving our operating margin
to 35.7% (1999 : 30.9%). Group operating profit for the year before
amortization of goodwill increased by 13% to £13.4m (1999 : £11.9m). This
profit was after charging an internet loss of £0.8m for the period.

Adjusted earnings per share, which excludes the impact of exceptional items,
investment income, interest and goodwill increased by 14% to 18.34p (1999 :


Advertising and sponsorship income before adjusting for inter-company sales
increased by 6.4% to £39.8m (1999 : £37.4m).

ITV's advertising revenue increased by 5.0% to £1,967m representing 59.5%
(1999 : 60.4%) of the total television advertising market. As a result of
out-performing the ITV Network our market share increased to 1.98% (1999 :

This was a creditable performance given that we did not benefit to the same
extent as other ITV regions (especially London and the South) from the rapid
increase in advertising revenue which saw ITV grow in the first six
months of the year by 14%. However, as revenue eased in the second
half of the year the strength of the Irish market enabled us not only to
recover against Network performance but to overtake it.

In 1999 we reported a significant reduction in our cost base of £2.4m to £
26.5m as a result of a major restructuring programme and, in 2000 we further
reduced our costs by £0.8m to £25.7m. We will continue to exercise very tight
control over our costs, seeking efficiency improvements which will not
diminish the quality of our output.


We acquired Direct Net Access Ltd. on 2 March 2000 and on 1 June 2000
relaunched it as UTV Internet. The re-branding was supported by a major
advertising campaign on-screen, outdoor and in the press. This marketing
campaign was the main factor underlying the loss for the period of £1.3m, of
which £0.5m was incurred in advertising on our own screen. While on-screen
advertising will remain a central element of our marketing plan in 2001,
nevertheless marketing activity will ease back to reflect the twin objectives
of growth and profitability.

Significant effort was also devoted to the development of our website which
now provides a complementary service to our on-screen programming. Viewers are
directed to the web-site where they can access a wealth of further
information, or participate in a wide range of activities including polls and
discussions about programme topics. Visitors to the site also find details of
all our programming and promotions for particular events. This cross promotion
is helping to drive viewers to both media and, increasingly, is enabling
advertisers to provide support material through the internet to on-screen


Our existing UTV programme service is broadcast in both analogue and digital
domains and we successfully launched our second service, UTV2, on digital in
June 2000. ITV, and therefore UTV has not been available on digital satellite
although an agreement was recently signed with Societe Europeenne des
Satellites (S.E.S.) for carriage on the Astra 2d satellite. Further work needs
to be done to put in place the rest of the infrastructure required to provide
the ITV regional services by digital satellite but it is expected that this
can be completed and the service launched by the end of this year. Together
with the further promotion of digital terrestrial services, primarily by ON
digital, this should provide a much needed boost to digital penetration which
will have positive benefits both in terms of audience share and in terms of a
reduction of the variable proportion of our licence fee which is charged on
the basis of 5% of qualifying revenue from analogue transmission only.


Our capital investment for the year was £1.9m (1999 : £1.6m). During the year
we completed the building work to house our new central technical area and
maintained our investment in plant and equipment. This investment was designed
to continue our drive towards automation of our services and to further invest
in digital equipment. In addition we purchased equipment to facilitate the
provision of services in-house which were previously provided by third
parties. The purchase of this type of equipment resulted in substantial
operational savings.

The acquisition of our internet business in the early part of the year
required infrastructure investment to cope with the increase in the customer
demand for the service. This remains an ongoing requirement as our internet
business grows.

Capital investment is essential to ensure the provision of first rate services
in all areas of our business but we will continue to evaluate all expenditure
to ensure an adequate return is achieved.


Our shares of viewing for the year were 33% across all time (9.25am - 6.00am)
and 41% across peaktime (7.00pm - 10.30pm) which again were well ahead of the
comparable network averages of 29% and 37%. Both at network level and at local
level shares of viewing were down on the previous year but this was largely
attributable to a decline in the first half of 2000 which was remedied by
stronger programming and scheduling in the second half. This stronger
performance has continued into the early months of 2001.

In 2000 we provided 675 hours of regional programmes, which continue to play
an important role in differentiating our schedule and their success amply
justifies their inclusion in peak, or near peak viewing slots. UTV continued
to be the most popular channel in Northern Ireland by a considerable margin
and in the Republic of Ireland we were second only to RTE 1 in multi channel


The acquisition of 60% of County Media was approved in principle by the
Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) on 26 February 2001. County
Media serves both Cork city and county, broadcasting to a population of
333,000 adult listeners, accounting for more than 11% of the adult population
of the Republic of Ireland. Within its area, it achieves a 51% share of total
listenership which is the highest share in the country. Completion of the
transaction is subject to final clearances of the legal documentation by the
IRTC and County Media will provide a significant platform from which to
further strengthen our media offerings in the Republic.

While our focus primarily has been on developing our media business within
Ireland, our recently announced consortium with Sky News, CBS, Bloomberg and
Chrysalis is evidence of our willingness to seek out opportunities on a
broader stage. Such an opportunity lies in the supply of national and
international news to ITV whose current contract with ITN expires at the end
of 2002. Our strength and reputation in providing a respected and popular news
service in the challenging environment of Northern Ireland enable us to fully
participate in a consortium of some of the world's leading broadcasters.

ITN is currently the only news provider for ITV nominated by the Independent
Television Commission (ITC) under the terms of the Broadcasting Act 1996 but
it is open to other companies to seek nominations provided that they meet the
legislative requirements, particularly in respect of both their ability to
provide a high quality news service and also of their shareholders each not
owning more than 20% of the company.

We are currently preparing an application to the ITC for nomination as a news
provider. Upon successful nomination, we will enter into negotiations with ITV
for the supply of their news with effect from 1 January, 2003. Although no
timetable has yet been agreed for this process, it is anticipated that any
negotiations with ITV would have to be completed by the autumn of this year.

John McCann

Managing Director

26 March 2001

Ulster Television plc
Group Profit and Loss Account
Year ended 31 December 2000
                                                          2000              1999
                                         Notes           £'000             £'000
Continuing operations
Ongoing                                                 39,949            38,340
Acquisition-UTV Internet Ltd                               869                 0

                                                --------------    --------------
Group Turnover                             3            40,818            38,340
                                                      ========          ========
Television operating costs                            (25,693)          (26,474)
Internet operating costs                               (1,710)                 0
Amortisation of goodwill                                 (360)                 0
Operating profit/(loss)
Continuing operations                           --------------    --------------
Ongoing                                                 14,256            11,866
Acquisition - UTV Internet Ltd                           (841)                 0
- Amortisation of goodwill                               (360)                 0
                                                --------------    --------------
                                                --------------    --------------
Group operating profit                                  13,055            11,866
Exceptional items
Profit on disposal of listed investment    2            13,378                 0
Fundamental restructuring costs            2                 0           (4,827)
Investment income                                          799               775
Interest payable on convertible loan                     (219)                 0
                                                --------------    --------------
Profit on ordinary activities before                    27,013             7,814
Taxation on profit on ordinary                         (7,933)           (2,213)
                                                --------------    --------------
Profit for the financial year                           19,080             5,601
Ordinary dividends                                     (4,572)           (3,941)
Special dividend                                             0          (18,391)
                                                --------------    --------------
Transfer to/(from) reserves                             14,508          (16,731)
                                                      ========          ========
Earnings per share
Diluted                                    4            35.68p            10.66p
                                                      ========          ========
Basic (FRS 14)                             4            36.31p            10.66p
                                                      ========          ========
Adjusted                                   4            18.34p            16.04p
                                                      ========          ========
Diluted Adjusted                           4            17.88p            16.04p
                                                      ========          ========
Dividend per share                                       8.70p             7.50p
                                                      ========          ========
Recognised gains and losses
There are no recognised gains or losses other than the profit attributable to
shareholders of £19,080,000 in the year ended 31 December 2000 and £5,601,000 in
the year ended 31 December 1999.

Ulster Television plc
Group and Company Balance Sheet
31 December 2000
                                                                     Group and
                                                 Group     Company     Company
                                                  2000        2000        1999
                                    Notes        £'000       £'000       £'000
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                3,965           0           0
Tangible assets                                  7,262       6,894       6,595
Investments                                          1       4,401         700
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
                                                11,228      11,295       7,295
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
Current assets
Stocks                                           2,207       2,100       1,168
Debtors                                          6,985       8,440       5,875
Short term cash deposits                        14,736      14,736         150
Cash at bank and in hand                         3,141       2,937       2,881
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
                                                27,069      28,213      10,074
Creditors:amounts falling due                 (14,786)    (14,333)    (11,991)
within one year
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
Net current assets/                             12,283      13,880     (1,917)
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
Total assets less current                       23,511      25,175       5,378
Creditors:amounts falling due after more
than one year
Convertible loan notes                         (3,750)     (3,750)           0
Amounts due for film rights                      (329)       (329)       (194)
Provision for liabilities and                     (57)        (57)       (317)
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
Net assets                                      19,375      21,039       4,867
                                               =======     =======     =======
Capital and reserves
Called-up equity share capital                   2,627       2,627       2,627
Share premium account                              125         125         125
Profit and loss account                         16,623      18,287       2,115
                                     -------------  -------------  -------------
Equity shareholders' funds            5         19,375      21,039       4,867
                                               =======     =======     =======

Ulster Television plc
Group Statement of Cash Flows
Year ended 31 December 2000
                                                              2000         1999
                                            Notes            £'000        £'000
Net cash inflow from operating                6             11,167        5,910
                                                    -------------  -------------
Returns on investments and servicing of
Interest received                                              792          754
Interest paid                                                (138)            0
Dividends received                                               0          205
                                                    -------------  -------------
                                                               654          959
                                                    -------------  -------------
Corporation tax paid                                       (4,436)      (4,050)
                                                    -------------  -------------
Capital expenditure and financial
Payments to acquire tangible fixed                         (1,895)      (2,007)
Receipts from sale of tangible fixed                            55           29
Receipts from sale of listed investment                     14,077            7
Receipts from sale of unlisted                                   0            7
                                                    -------------  -------------
                                                            12,237      (1,964)
                                                    -------------  -------------
Acquisitions and disposals
Purchase of subsidiary undertaking                           (650)            0
Net cash acquired with subsidiary                               78            0
                                                    -------------  -------------
                                                             (572)            0
                                                    -------------  -------------
Equity dividends paid
Ordinary dividends                                         (4,204)      (3,468)
Special dividend                                                 0     (18,391)
                                                    -------------  -------------
                                                           (4,204)     (21,859)
                                                    -------------  -------------
Change in net funds                                         14,846     (21,004)
Management of liquid resources
(Increase)/Decrease in cash on deposit                    (14,586)       21,829
                                                    -------------  -------------
Increase in cash                                               260          825
                                                          ========     ========

Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net            2000         1999
                                                             £'000        £'000

Increase in cash in the year                                   260          825
Cash outflow/(inflow) from increase/(decrease) in cash      14,586     (21,829)
on deposit
                                                    -------------  -------------
Change in net funds resulting from                          14,846     (21,004)
Convertible loan notes issued on                           (3,750)            0
Net funds at 1 January                                       3,031       24,035
                                                    -------------  -------------
Net funds at 31 December                                    14,127        3,031
                                                          ========     ========

Ulster Television plc

Notes to the accounts
31 December 2000

1 Basis of preparation

The results for the years ended 31 December 2000 and 31 December 1999 are an
abridged extract of the Group's full accounts on which the auditors have
issued unqualified reports. The Group's full accounts for the year ended 31
December 1999 have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The financial
information contained in this statement does not constitute full accounts
within the meaning of Article 262 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order

2 Exceptional items

Sale of investment

The Company sold its remaining shareholding in Societe Europeenne des
Satellites (S.E.S) on 16 February 2000 for £14,077,000 resulting in a profit
of £13,378,000. The taxation on the capital gain arising amounted to £

Fundamental restructuring costs

In 1999 the Company undertook a review of its operations following the renewal
of its licence. This review resulted in a major restructuring of the workforce
and related cost structure of the Company. The costs associated with this
restructuring up to 31 December 1999 totalled £4.8m and were in respect of
compensation for the reorganisation of the staff reward structure and
regrading of jobs, together with the costs associated with the implementation
of early retirement and voluntary severance packages to substantially reduce
the Company's workforce. The tax effect in the profit and loss account of the
exceptional items recognised below operating profit was a credit of £

3 Segmental analysis

Turnover represents the amounts derived from the provision of goods and
services and will fall within the Group's ordinary activities, stated net of
value added tax.

The Group operates in two principal areas of continuing activity, commercial
television and internet. Turnover is generated principally from the UK and

Area of             Television             Internet               Total
                    2000       1999       2000       1999       2000       1999
                   £'000      £'000      £'000      £'000      £'000      £'000
Group turnover
Total sales       40,412     38,340        869          0     41,281     38,340
Inter-segment      (463)          0          0          0      (463)          0
        -  ------------  ------------  --------  --------  ---------   --------
Sales to third    39,949     38,340        869          0     40,818     38,340
                ========    =======    =======    =======    =======    =======

4 Earnings per share

Basic earnings per share, in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard
No.14 (FRS 14), is calculated on the weighted average number of shares in
issue during the period being 52,546,600 (1999 : 52,546,600) and is based on
profit for the financial year after exceptional items and taxation of £
19,080,000 (1999 : £5,601,000).

Diluted earnings per share is calculated on 53,905,296 shares (1999 :
52,546,600 shares) reflecting the dilutive potential of the Convertible Loan
Notes (1,358,696 shares (1999:Nil)). The calculation is based on profit for
the     financial year of £19,233,000 (1999:£5,601,000) reflecting an
adjustment for net interest payable on the Convertible Loan Notes of £153,000
(1999 : £Nil).

An adjusted earnings per share has been calculated to exclude the impact of
profit on sale of investments, exceptional restructuring costs, investment
income (net of interest payable) and goodwill amortisation. The adjusted
earnings per share is based on operating profits and is intended to provide a
comparable measure of historical performance.

                                                             2000          1999
                                                                p             p
Diluted Earnings per Share                                  35.68         10.66
To reflect the dilutive potential of the Convertible         0.63          0.00
Loan Notes
                                                     ------------  ------------
Basic (FRS 14) Earnings per Share                           36.31         10.66
Exceptional profit on disposal of listed                  (25.46)          0.00
Exceptional fundamental restructuring costs                  0.00          9.18
Investment income (net of interest payable)                (1.10)        (1.47)
Goodwill amortisation                                        0.68          0.00
Taxation relating to the above items                         7.91        (2.33)
                                                     ------------  ------------
Adjusted Earnings per Share                                 18.34         16.04
To reflect the dilutive potential of the Convertible       (0.46)          0.00
Loan Notes
                                                     ------------  ------------
Diluted Adjusted Earnings per Share                         17.88         16.04
                                                         ========      ========

Ulster Television plc
Notes to the accounts
31 December 2000

5 Reconciliation of shareholders' funds and movement
  on reserves

  Group              Equity share      Share premium   Profit and
                          capital            account         Loss        Total
                            £'000              £'000        £'000        £'000
  Balance at 31             2,627                125       18,846       21,598
  December 1998
  Profit for the                0                  0        5,601        5,601
  Dividends                     0                  0     (22,332)     (22,332)
                  ---------------    ---------------  -----------  -------------
  Balance at 31             2,627                125        2,115        4,867
  December 1999
  Profit for the                0                  0       19,080       19,080
  Dividends                     0                  0      (4,572)      (4,572)
                 ----------------   ----------------  -----------  -------------
  Balance at 31             2,627                125       16,623       19,375
  December 2000
                       ==========         ==========    =========    =========

  Company            Equity share      Share premium   Profit and
                          capital            account         Loss        Total
                            £'000              £'000        £'000        £'000

  Balance at 31             2,627                125       18,846       21,598
  December 1998
  Profit for the                0                  0        5,601        5,601
  Dividends                     0                  0     (22,332)     (22,332)
                 ----------------   ----------------  -----------  -------------
  Balance at 31             2,627                125        2,115        4,867
  December 1999
  Profit for the                0                  0       20,744       20,744
  Dividends                     0                  0      (4,572)      (4,572)
                 ----------------   ----------------  -----------  -------------
  Balance at 31             2,627                125       18,287       21,039
  December 2000
                        =========          =========    =========    =========

 6 Reconciliation of operating profit to net cashflow from operating activities

                                                         2000              1999
                                                        £'000             £'000

   Operating profit                                    13,055            11,866
   Depreciation charges                                 1,321             1,149
   Amortisation of goodwill                               360                 0
   Profit on sale of tangible fixed assets               (20)              (24)
   (Increase)/decrease in stocks                      (1,036)               134
   Increase in debtors                                  (935)             (278)
   Decrease in creditors                                 (90)           (2,783)
   Decrease in provisions                               (260)             (555)
                                             ----------------  ----------------
                                                       12,395             9,509
   Exceptional items - restructuring costs            (1,228)           (3,599)
                                             ----------------  ----------------
   Net cash inflow from operating activities           11,167             5,910
                                                    =========         =========

Ulster Television plc

Notes to the accounts

31 December 2000

7 Post balance sheet events

County Media Ltd

On the 26 February 2001 the Independent Radio and Television Commission in
Ireland (IRTC) approved in principle the acquisition by the Company of 60% of
County Media Limited (CML), the largest independent local radio station in

Completion of the acquisition is subject to final clearances of the legal
documentation by the IRTC. It is envisaged that the acquisition will be
effected through a holding company, Fairtell Limited ('Fairtell'), which will
be owned 60% by the Company and 40% by the current shareholders of CML.
Fairtell will acquire the entire issued share capital of CML for a
consideration of IR£31.5m reduced by the level of net debt in CML at the date
of acquisition.

The Vendors' 40% shareholding in Fairtell will be the subject of put and call
arrangements between the Company and the Vendors which will be exercisable,
subject to approval of the IRTC.

This summary has been approved by our Directors for release to the Press today
26 March 2001 and the full printed Annual Report and Accounts will be posted
to Shareholders and Stock Exchanges on 27 April 2001. Copies will be available
to the public at the Company's registered office Havelock House, Ormeau Road,
Belfast BT7 1EB from that date.


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