Olympics fail to deliver UTV advert boost

Michael Bow
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UTV Media, owner of talkSport radio, yesterday posted a small rise in pre-tax profits as an expected Olympics advertising boost failed to materialise.

The Belfast-based media group said net advertising revenues from its television division had dropped three per cent over the half year, taking total television revenues down two per cent to £16.9m.

The firm said an anticipated Olympics boost from increased sports-related advertising had failed to provide any “performance enhancing effect” on revenues for the third quarter.

Overall, pre-tax profits increased three per cent to £11.2m, with group revenue up four per cent to £61.6m.

Group chief executive John McCann said: “The group has posted a resilient performance for the first half of 2012, growing both revenues and pre-tax profits in a choppy market.”

The firm was also able to increase its proposed interim dividend by 0.25p to 1.75p after paying down £13.1m of debt, reducing its debt burden by more than a fifth.

UTV Television is part of the ITV network in Northern Ireland.