UPDATE 1-UTV Media sees first-half revenue kick from soccer World Cup

Thu May 15, 2014 5:28am EDT

* Sees 18 pct revenue growth in Q2

* Sees 45 pct jump in talkSPORT revenue in Q2

* Advertisers drawn by soccer World Cup coverage (Adds Finance Director comments, details, share movement)

By Noor Zainab Hussain

May 15 (Reuters) - Northern Irish radio and television broadcaster UTV Media Plc expects a big boost to first-half revenue as an advertising kick from the soccer World Cup continues into the second quarter.

The company, which has radio broadcasting rights to the sumemr tournament in Brazil, expects revenue to rise 18 percent in the current quarter, with its popular sports radio station talkSPORT set to report a 45 percent jump.

Group Finance Director Norman McKeown said the World Cup, which kicks off in June, had helped UTV Media to build on a modest recovery already under way in the advertising market for radio broadcasters nationwide.

"It is a combination of a return to growing markets and also the boost that we get, or the increase that we get, from the World Cup," McKeown told Reuters.

UTV Media said revenue rose 7 percent to 27.8 million pounds ($46.64 million) for the quarter ended March 31.

First-quarter revenue from its Radio GB unit rose 10 percent for the quarter and talkSPORT's revenue was up 16 percent.

Revenue at UTV's television business, which accounted for about a third of sales last year, rose 4 percent, with London net advertising revenue up 3 percent and Irish net advertising revenue up 11 percent.

Shares of the Belfast-based company were trading marginally higher than Wednesday's closing price of 233 pence on the London Stock Exchange. ($1 = 0.6008 British Pounds) (Editing by Robin Paxton)