* Expects Radio GB revenue to grow 17 pct in April
* Sees at least 25 pct rev growth in talkSPORT in April
* Estimates strong first-quarter growth in radio, TV
* Full-year pretax profit falls 16 pct, revenue down 11 pct
March 18 Northern Irish broadcaster UTV Media
Plc estimated a strong growth in revenue in the first
quarter and a further jump in sales in its radio business in the
run up to the FIFA World Cup.
The company, which has non-exclusive radio rights to the
quadrennial soccer tournament this summer, said it expected
revenue from its largest division - Radio GB - to rise 17
percent in April, with its popular radio station talkSPORT
clocking at least a 25 percent jump.
The broadcaster, which operates 21 radio stations across the
United Kingdom and Ireland, said revenue in Radio GB is expected
to be 7 percent higher in the first quarter, while revenue from
Radio Ireland was estimated to grow 9 percent.
Revenue in the television business - which accounted for
about a third of sales last year - would be up 5 percent in the
first quarter, UTV said.
UTV also said it renewed its exclusive audio rights to
broadcast 380 Barclay's Premier League football matches outside
of Europe to 2016.
The company's pretax profit for the year ended Dec. 31 fell
16 percent to 16.9 million pounds ($28.1 million). Revenue
slipped 11 percent to 107.7 million pounds at the company.
Revenue from Radio GB slipped marginally to 52.1 million
pounds, while revenue at Radio Ireland fell to 21.9 million
The broadcaster's television unit also saw a fall in revenue
at 34 million pounds.
Operating profit fell 15 percent to 20.1 million pounds due
mostly to a 36 percent drop in the first half.
In the second half of the year, operating profit rose 10
percent as advertising markets started to respond to improving
"This was particularly the case in Ireland where, after five
years of decline, television advertising recorded growth of 11
percent in the second half while radio advertising also moved
into growth," Chairman Richard Huntingford said in a statement.
The company recommended a final dividend of 5.25 pence per
share, maintaining full-year dividend at 7.00 pence.
Shares in the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based company were
trading down about 1.1 percent at 241.75 pence in thin trading
on Tuesday morning.