TalkSport owner reports falling profits ahead of takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp

William Turvill
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Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has agreed a £220m takeover for Wireless Group (Source: Getty)

Wireless Group, which has agreed a deal to be sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, has reported falling profits in the first half of 2016.

The figures

The owner of TalkSport, which sold its TV business to ITV for £100m in February, reported group revenue from continuing operations of £38.2m in the six months to 30 June.

Read more: TalkSport owner shareholders accept takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp

This was up from £37m in the first half of 2015.

Pre-tax profits from continuing operations, however, were down from £5m to £4.5m.

Why it’s interesting

Wireless, whose shareholders have accepted the 315p-per-share offer from News Corp, said TalkSport was boosted by the Euro 2016 football tournament.

But the company said it was hit by an advertising slowdown in the second quarter of the year, which also affected newspapers and broadcasters.

Uncertainty in the lead-up to the EU referendum, on 23 June, is widely thought to have had a negative impact on advertising expenditure.

Read more: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to buy TalkSport owner for £220m

What the company said

Richard Huntingford, chairman:

Wireless Group - and especially TalkSport - has performed well in the first six months of the year. After a competitive bidding process, we were also delighted to be awarded three packages for Premier League live audio rights which will further underpin the outlook for TalkSport going forward.

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