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  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 11 September, 2006


Interim Results

UTV plc

("UTV" or "the Company" or "the Group")

Interim Results

for the six months ended 30 June 2006


UTV, the multi media group which broadcasts radio and television and provides
internet and telephony services, announces its interim results for the six
months to 30 June 2006.

Financial highlights:

  * Group turnover up 60% at £57.1m (2005: £35.6m)
  * Group operating profit before exceptional items up 30% at £12.4m (2005: £
  * Radio operating profit of £6.3m (2005: £1.9m) after deducting start-up
    losses of £1.4m (2005: £NIL) at two new radio stations, Talk 107 in
    Edinburgh and U105 in Belfast.
  * Television operating profit of £5.6m (2005: £7.3m)
  * New Media operating profit of £0.5m (2005: £0.4m)
  * Diluted Earnings per share increased by 4% to 11.33p (2005: 10.85p)
  * A 5% increase in interim dividend to 5.00p (2005: 4.75p)
Operational highlights:

  * Radio advertising in Ireland grew by 16% on a like-for-like basis
  * Radio advertising in Great Britain grew by 16% on a like-for-like basis
  * Television advertising revenue reduced by 6% but again outperformed the ITV
  * New Media revenue grew by 16%
John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV, said:

"We have once again outperformed our peer groups in delivering improved
operating and pre-tax profits in an advertising market which has been
challenging for the industry as a whole. I am particularly pleased with the
successful integration of the former Wireless Group where a 16% improvement in
like-for-like revenue was recorded against a 3% decline in the market. A
similar 16% increase in our Irish radio advertising helped lift radio's total
share of group turnover to 56% and share of operating profit to 51%. The
television advertising marketplace, however, was weak and, despite achieving a
record share of 2.76% of ITV1's advertising revenue, our television revenue was
down by 6%. New media grew strongly with a 16% improvement in revenue.

"Our outperformance has continued into the second half and, although the
advertising environment remains difficult, I am confident that the group will
maintain its leading position throughout the rest of the year."

Key dates:

● 22 September 2006 : record date for payment of dividends

● 16 October 2006 : payment of dividends

For further information contact:

Powerscourt                                 +44 20 7236 5615                   
Anthony Silverman                           +44 7818 036 579                   
UTV plc                                                                        
John McCann, Group Chief Executive          +44 28 9026 2202                   
Jim Downey, Group Finance Director          +44 28 9026 2176                   
Felicity Templeton, Head of Press and PR    +44 28 9026 2188                   

Chairman's Statement


Development of our radio business continued apace, with revenue of £31.7m
(2005: £9.4m) accounting for 56% of group turnover in the six months to 30 June
2006. New media revenue grew by 16% to £4.5m (2005 : £3.9m) but television
revenue was down by 6% to £20.9m (2005 : £22.3m), reflecting the poor market
conditions which obtained throughout the period.

Results and Dividend

Group turnover in the first half increased to £57.1m (2005: £35.6m). Operating
profit before exceptional items was up by 30% to £12.4m (2005 : £9.6m) with
radio operating profit more than trebling to £6.3m (2005 : £1.9m) even after
deducting start-up losses of £1.4m (2005 : £NIL) at our two new stations, Talk
107 in Edinburgh and U105 in Belfast. Television operating profit fell to £5.6m
(2005 : £7.3m) while new media operating profit increased to £0.5m (2005 : £
0.4m). After net interest charges of £4.0m (2005 : £0.5m), pre-tax profits were
up by 5% to £8.5m (2005 : £8.1m).

Your Board has declared an interim dividend of 5.00p which represents a 5%
increase over last year. The dividend will be paid on 16 October 2006 to all
shareholders on the Register at the close of business on 22 September 2006.


In the Republic of Ireland, our strategy of creating leading positions in key
urban markets has proven attractive to both local and national advertisers and
delivered a 16% increase in advertising revenue in the first half. The launch
of our new Belfast station, U105, brought an all-Ireland dimension to our
marketing proposition although, in the six months under review, a planned
operational loss of £0.5m was incurred at this station. Before accounting for
this start-up loss, operating profits at our Irish radio stations were up by
52% to £2.8m (2005 : £1.9m).

Our radio division in Great Britain also performed strongly. Turnover in the
first half was £23.9m (2005 : £3.1m) with like-for-like growth in advertising
revenue of 16% compared to a market decline of 3% in the same period. We
invested heavily in the production of talkSPORT around the football World Cup
and also in promoting the brand to listeners and advertisers and this helped to
drive a 38% increase in revenue at the station over the first half. We
continued with our long term development programme to improve performance at
our local radio stations which were able to record a 4% increase in revenue in
an otherwise depressed market. Before accounting for start-up losses of £0.9m
(2005 : £NIL) at our new radio station in Edinburgh, Talk 107 which launched on
14 February 2006, operating profits from our radio stations in Great Britain
were £4.8m (2005 : £NIL) for the first six months of 2006.


The World Cup failed to deliver any real stimulus to a total television airtime
market which was down by 2% in the first half. With the Contract Rights Renewal
mechanism creating further drag for ITV1, advertising revenue for the ITV
network fell by 8%. Our television station again outperformed and achieved a
record share of ITV1's advertising revenue of 2.76%, but this still resulted in
a reduction in our television revenue to £20.9m (2005 : £ 22.3m). As a
consequence, our television operating profits fell to £5.6m (2005 : £7.3m).

New Media

In New Media our strategy has been to grow our customer base through the
bundling of broadband, telephony and wholesale line rental services across the
island of Ireland in order to maximise future profit streams. Given the high
wholesale installation and associated customer acquisition costs, profit growth
has lagged sales growth during this expansion. In the period under review, a
renewed focus on profitability has led to a strong financial performance in
this division, with sales up by 16% to £4.5m (2005: £3.9m) and operating profit
up by 31% to £0.5m (2005: £0.4m).


The strong growth enjoyed by our Irish radio stations in the first 6 months has
continued into the third quarter where radio revenue in Ireland is expected to
be up by 16% on a like-for-like basis. This radio market tends to be quite
short-term, and, therefore, difficult to forecast, but our excellent
listenership figures in the context of encouraging economic fundamentals should
underpin a positive final quarter and another full year of sustained growth.
Future growth will be enhanced by the development of our new radio station in
Belfast, although start-up losses will act as a drag on short-term

The radio market in Great Britain is much less buoyant than the Irish market,
but our significant outperformance is delivering a solid revenue increase in
the third quarter, which is now expected to be up by 2% over the same period
last year. Even in the post football World Cup period, talkSPORT is achieving
good revenue growth and is forecast to be up by 7% in the quarter. Advertising
revenue in our local radio stations in Great Britain is expected to be in line
with last year in a total radio market which is forecast to be 6% lower. Profit
growth in our radio division in Great Britain will be tempered by start-up
losses at our new radio station in Edinburgh.

On 4 July 2006, Ofcom published the new financial terms which will apply to
talkSPORT's licence for the four year extension period 1 January 2009 to 31
December 2012. The existing financial terms in respect of the current licence,
which will expire on 31 December 2008, are a cash sum of approximately £0.56m
and 6% of qualifying revenue. The new financial terms will require a cash
payment of £0.1m but no percentage payment will apply to qualifying revenue.

Our television advertising revenue is expected to fall by 9% in the third
quarter compared to an 18% reduction for ITV1. Decreases in our advertising
revenue of 21% and 10% in July and August respectively are expected to be
followed by a 4% increase in September. However, the improvement in September
will not be sustained into October, for which early indications are that our
television advertising revenue will be down by 10%. With this level of
volatility in the market it is difficult to predict television revenue for the
last two months of the year.

Our new media business continues to enjoy strong growth with revenue in the
third quarter expected to be up by 20%. While the broadband and telephony
market remains highly competitive, nevertheless our efforts to maintain or
improve margins should ensure enhanced profitability in the full year.

Overall, strong performances from our radio divisions in both the U.K. and
Ireland should help to mitigate weakness in the television marketplace and
enable your company to outperform its peer groups.

Group Income Statement

for the six months ended 30 June 2006

                                                      Notes        30        30
                                                                 June      June
                                                                 2006      2005
                                                                 £000      £000
Continuing operations                                                          
Revenue                                                   2    57,125    35,610
Operating costs                                              (44,763)  (26,059)
                                                             --------  --------
Operating profit from continuing operations before        2    12,362     9,551
tax and finance costs                                                          
Exceptional costs                                         3         -     (939)
Share of results of associates accounted for using                108        10
the equity method                                                              
                                                             --------  --------
Profit from continuing operations before tax and               12,470     8,622
finance costs                                                                  
Finance revenue                                                   127        69
Finance costs                                                 (4,119)     (607)
Foreign exchange gain                                              17         -
                                                             --------  --------
Profit before tax                                               8,495     8,084
Taxation                                                      (2,075)   (2,125)
                                                             --------  --------
Profit for the period                                           6,420     5,959
                                                             --------  --------
Attributable to:                                                               
Equity holders of the parent                                    6,241     5,959
Minority interests                                                179         -
                                                             --------  --------
                                                                6,420     5,959
                                                             --------  --------

Earnings per share

Diluted                                                   5    11.33p    10.85p
Basic                                                     5    11.44p    10.97p
Adjusted                                                  5    11.44p    12.18p
Diluted adjusted                                          5    11.33p    12.05p
                                                             --------  --------

                                                                 £000      £000
Declared and paid during the period                                            
(7.75p per share (2005: 7.00p))                                 4,227     3,803
                                                               ------    ------

Group Statement of Recognised Income and Expense

for the six months ended 30 June 2006

                                                      Notes        30        30
                                                                 June      June
                                                                 2006      2005
                                                                 £000      £000
Income and expenses recognised directly in equity                              
Exchange difference on translation of foreign                     348   (3,041)
Exchange difference on loans hedging net investment                 -     1,662
in foreign subsidiaries                                                        
Net actuarial gains/(losses) on defined benefit                 2,640   (1,210)
pension schemes                                                                
Profit on cash flow hedges taken to equity                      1,253         -
Tax on items taken directly to or transferred from            (1,132)       363
                                                             --------  --------
Net income recognised directly to equity                        3,109   (2,226)
Profit for the period                                           6,420     5,959
                                                             --------  --------
Total recognised income and expense                             9,529     3,733
                                                             --------  --------
Attributable to:                                                               
Equity holders of the parent                              7     9,350     3,733
Minority interests                                        7       179         -
                                                             --------  --------
                                                          7     9,529     3,733
                                                             --------  --------

Group Balance Sheet

as at 30 June 2006

                                            Notes        30        30        31
                                                       June      June  December
                                                       2006      2005      2005
                                                       £000      £000      £000
Non-current assets                                                             
Property, plant and equipment                        11,311    10,552    10,938
Intangible assets                                   205,603   198,772   205,165
Financial assets                                      1,134         -         -
Investments accounted for using the equity              114       225       268
Other investments                                        32         -        32
Deferred tax asset                                    6,848     9,793     8,725
                                                     ------    ------    ------
                                                    225,042   219,342   225,128
                                                     ------    ------    ------
Current assets                                                                 
Inventories                                             649       939       832
Trade and other receivables                          27,588    22,848    29,367
Cash and short term deposits                          2,998     8,820     6,470
                                                     ------    ------    ------
                                                     31,235    32,607    36,669
                                                    -------    ------    ------
TOTAL ASSETS                                        256,277   251,949   261,797
                                                     ------    ------    ------
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES                                                         
Equity attributable to equity holders of                                       
the parent                                                                     
Equity share capital                            7     7,824     7,824     7,824
Foreign currency reserve                        7       456   (1,140)       108
Cash flow hedge reserve                         7     1,134         -     (119)
Retained earnings                               7    43,847    31,076    40,325
                                                     ------    ------    ------
                                                     53,261    37,760    48,138
Minority interest                               7       306       (7)       127
                                                     ------    ------    ------
Total equity                                    7    53,567    37,753    48,265
                                                     ------    ------    ------
Non-current liabilities                                                        
Interest bearing loans and borrowings           6   115,354   121,104   119,935
Pension liability                                     3,680     8,376     6,320
Provisions                                              908         -     1,176
Deferred tax liabilities                             44,999    42,842    44,646
                                                     ------    ------    ------
                                                    164,941   172,322   172,077
                                                     ------    ------    ------
Current liabilities                                                            
Trade and other payables                             23,763    32,292    26,738
Current portion of interest bearing loans       6    12,564     7,386    12,736
and borrowings                                                                 
Tax payable                                           1,190     2,169     1,811
Provisions                                              252        27       170
                                                     ------    ------    ------
Net current liabilities                              37,769    41,874    41,455
                                                     ------    ------    ------
TOTAL LIABILITIES                                   202,710   214,196   213,532
                                                     ------    ------    ------
TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES                        256,277   251,949   261,797
                                                     ------    ------    ------

Group Cash Flow Statement

for the six months ended 30 June 2006

                                                                  30          30
                                                                June        June
                                                                2006        2005
                                                                £000        £000
Operating activities                                                            
Cash generated from operations before exceptional costs       12,213      11,605
Exceptional costs                                               (20)       (343)
Tax paid                                                     (1,616)     (2,437)
                                                         ----------- -----------
Net cash inflow from operating activities                     10,577       8,825
                                                         ----------- -----------
Investing activities                                                            
Interest received                                                124          69
Proceeds on disposal of property, plant and equipment            104          23
Purchase of property, plant and equipment                    (1,474)       (533)
Acquisition of subsidiaries, net of cash acquired                  -    (98,994)
Income from associates                                           227          10
                                                         ----------- -----------
Net cash flows from investing activities                     (1,019)    (99,425)
                                                         ----------- -----------
Financing activities                                                            
Borrowing costs                                              (3,966)       (588)
Proceeds from exercise of share options                            -         236
Dividends paid to equity holders of the parent               (4,227)     (3,803)
Repayment of borrowings                                     (12,844)    (35,546)
Proceeds from borrowings                                       8,000     131,581
Repayment of capital element of finance lease                    (5)           -
                                                         ----------- -----------
Net cash flows used in financing activities                 (13,042)      91,880
                                                         ----------- -----------
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents         (3,484)       1,280
Net foreign exchange differences                                  12       (167)
Cash and cash equivalents at 1 January                         6,470       7,707
                                                         ----------- -----------
Cash and cash equivalents at 30 June                           2,998       8,820
                                                         ----------- -----------

Notes to the Interim Report

at 30 June 2006

1. Basis of preparation

The interim financial statements have been prepared on a basis consistent with
the accounting policies adopted for the year ended 31 December 2005 and in
accordance with the accounting policies that the directors anticipate will be
complied with in the annual financial statements. These policies are set out in
the Group's Annual Report and Accounts.

The interim results are unaudited and do not constitute full accounts within
the meaning of Article 262 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. The
auditors have issued an unqualified report on the Company's full accounts for
the year ended 31 December 2005, which were prepared under IFRS, as endorsed by
the EC, and have been filed with the registrar of Companies.

2. Segmental analysis

The following is an analysis of the revenue and results for the period,
analysed by business segment, the Group's primary basis of segmentation.


Six months ended 30 June 2006                                                  
                            Radio GB       Radio Television  New Media    Total
                                £000        £000       £000       £000     £000
Sales to third parties        23,928       7,796     20,903      4,498   57,125
Intersegmental sales             508         269        688         31    1,496
                              ------      ------     ------     ------   ------
Total segmental revenue       24,436       8,065     21,591      4,529   58,621
                              ------      ------     ------     ------   ------
Six months ended 30 June 2005                                                  
                            Radio GB       Radio Television  New Media    Total
                                £000        £000       £000       £000     £000
Sales to third parties         3,054       6,359     22,307      3,890   35,610
Intersegmental sales              28         140        182         30      380
                             -------      ------     ------     ------   ------
Total segmental revenue        3,082       6,499     22,489      3,920   35,990
                             -------      ------     ------     ------   ------


Six months ended 30 June 2006                                                  
                            Radio GB      Radio  Television  New Media    Total
                                £000       £000        £000       £000     £000
Operating profit for the       3,898      2,387       5,589        488   12,362
Share of results of              108          -           -          -      108
                              ------     ------      ------     ------   ------
                               4,006      2,387       5,589        488   12,470
                              ------     ------      ------     ------         
Net finance costs                                                       (3,992)
Foreign exchange                                                             17
Profit before taxation                                                    8,495
Income tax expense                                                      (2,075)
Net profit for the period                                                 6,420
Six months ended 30 June 2005                                                  
                               Radio      Radio  Television  New Media    Total
                                  GB    Ireland                                
                                £000       £000        £000       £000     £000
Operating profit for the          15      1,869       7,295        372    9,551
Exceptional costs, allocable   (673)          -       (266)          -    (939)
to a business segment                                                          
                              ------     ------      ------     ------   ------
                               (658)      1,869       7,029        372    8,612
Share of results of               10          -           -          -       10
                              ------     ------      ------     ------   ------
                               (648)      1,869       7,029        372    8,622
                              ------     ------      ------     ------         
Net finance costs                                                         (538)
Profit before taxation                                                    8,084
Income tax expense                                                      (2,125)
Net profit for the period                                                 5,959

3. Exceptional costs

                                                                 30          30
                                                               June        June
                                                               2006        2005
                                                               £000        £000
Fundamental restructuring costs                                   -         939
                                                             ------      ------

Following the acquisition of The Wireless Group plc on 6 June 2005, the staff
structure within the UTV Group was reviewed and the fundamental rationalisation
resulted in redundancy costs and other related costs.

4. Dividends

                                                                 30          30
                                                               June        June
                                                               2006        2005
                                                               £000        £000
Equity dividends on ordinary shares                                            
Declared and paid during the period                                            
Final for 2005: 7.75p (2004: 7.00p)                           4,227       3,803
                                                             ------      ------
Proposed but not recognised as a liability at 30 June                          
Interim for 2006: 5.00p                                       2,727            

5. Earnings per share

Basic earnings per share is calculated based on the profit for the period after
exceptional items and on the weighted average number of shares in issue during
the period. Adjusted earnings per share is calculated based on the profit for
the period before exceptional items and on the weighted average number of
shares in issue during the period.

Diluted earnings per share is calculated based on the profit for the period and
on the weighted average number of shares adjusted to reflect the dilutive
potential of the Share Option Schemes. The impact of these are summarised

Net profit

                                                                  30         30
                                                                June       June
                                                                2006       2005
                                                                £000       £000
Net profit attributable to equity holders                      6,241      5,959
                                                              ------     ------
                                                                  30         30
                                                                June       June
                                                                2006       2005
                                                                £000       £000
Net profit attributable to equity holders                      6,241      5,959
Exceptional costs                                                  -        939
Taxation relating to exceptional items                             -      (282)
                                                              ------     ------
Net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders for           6,241      6,616
adjusted earnings per share                                                    
                                                              ------     ------
Weighted average number of shares                                              
                                                                  30         30
                                                                June       June
                                                                2006       2005
                                                           Thousands  Thousands
Weighted average number of shares for basic earnings per      54,546     54,300
Effect of dilution:                                                            
Share options                                                    546        621
                                                              ------     ------
Adjusted weighted average number of ordinary shares for       55,092     54,921
diluted earnings per share                                                     
                                                              ------     ------

6. Financial liabilities

                                                       30        30          31
                                                     June      June    December
                                                     2006      2005        2005
                                                     £000      £000        £000
Bank overdrafts                                         -         -         194
Current instalments due on bank loans              12,551     7,373      12,410
Current obligations under finance leases and           13        13          13
hire purchase contracts                                                        
Interest rate swaps                                     -         -         119
                                                   ------    ------     -------
                                                   12,564     7,386      12,736
                                                   ------    ------      ------
Non-current instalments due on bank loans         115,266   121,003     119,841
Non-current obligations under finance leases and                               
hire purchase contracts                                88       101          94
                                                   ------    ------      ------
                                                  115,354   121,104     119,935
                                                   ------    ------      ------

The bank loans at 30 June 2006 are stated net of deferred financing costs
amounting to £1,358,000 (30 June 2005 : £Nil, 31 December 2005 : £1,574,000).

7. Group statement of changes in equity

                            Attributable to equity holders    Minority    Total
                                    of the parent                              
                          Equity   Foreign     Cash  Retained                  
                           Share  Currency     Flow  earnings                  
                         capital   reserve    Hedge                            
                            £000      £000    £'000      £000     £000     £000
Balance at 01 January      6,584       239        -    29,767      (7)   36,583
Exercise of share            236         -        -         -        -      236
Shares issued on           1,004         -        -         -        -    1,004
acquisition of                                                                 
Total recognised income        -   (1,379)        -     5,112        -    3,733
and expense in the                                                             
Dividends                      -         -        -   (3,803)        -  (3,803)
                           -----     -----    -----     -----    -----    -----
Balance at 30 June 2005    7,824   (1,140)        -    31,076      (7)   37,753
Total recognised income        -     1,248    (119)    11,152      134   12,415
and expense in the                                                             
Dividends                      -         -        -   (2,592)        -  (2,592)
Reserves on the wind up        -         -        -       689        -      689
of The Wireless Group                                                          
Employee Benefit Trust                                                         
                           -----     -----    -----     -----    -----    -----
Balance at 31 December     7,824       108    (119)    40,325      127   48,265
Total recognised income        -       348    1,253     7,749      179    9,529
and expense in the                                                             
Dividends                      -         -        -   (4,227)        -  (4,227)
                           -----     -----    -----     -----    -----    -----
Balance at 30 June 2006    7,824       456    1,134    43,847      306   53,567
                          ------    ------   ------    ------   ------   ------

Independent Review Report to UTV plc


We have been instructed by the company to review the financial information for
the six months ended 30 June 2006 which comprises the Consolidated Income
Statement, Consolidated Balance Sheet, Consolidated Cash Flow Statement,
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity, and the related notes 1 to 7. We
have read the other information contained in the interim report and considered
whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with
the financial information.

This report is made solely to the company in accordance with guidance contained
in Bulletin 1999/4 'Review of interim financial information' issued by the
Auditing Practices Board. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not
accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company, for our work,
for this report, or for the conclusions we have formed.

Directors' responsibilities

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority which require that the accounting
policies and presentation applied to the interim figures should be consistent
with those applied in preparing the preceding annual accounts except where any
changes, and the reasons for them, are disclosed.

Review work performed

We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/
4 'Review of interim financial information' issued by the Auditing Practices
Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review consists principally of making
enquiries of group management and applying analytical procedures to the
financial information and underlying financial data, and based thereon,
assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation have been
consistently applied, unless otherwise disclosed. A review excludes audit
procedures such as tests of controls and verification of assets, liabilities
and transactions. It is substantially less in scope than an audit performed in
accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and
therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an audit. Accordingly we do
not express an audit opinion on the financial information.

Review conclusion

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for six months ended
30 June 2006.

Ernst & Young LLP



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