The Local Radio Company are continuing to outperform the market in a very tough trading environment, according to interim results published by the group today. Total turnover is just below 10 million pounds at ?9.83m, and two new stations are set to launch in the next 12 months.
The group reports a loss for the first half to March 31 of 0.6m compared with a positive 0.2m a year earlier. Richard Wheatly, Chief Executive of The Local Radio Company, said: ?Despite the challenging market, The Local Radio Company has continued to outperform in terms of both national and local sales. We intend to become a major force in the UK local radio market and will be examining all options to accelerate progress further. In the short term we are still affected by the volatility of the advertising market.?
The Chairman?s Statement is below:
In line with our comments in the pre-close trading update for the first six months of the year, our radio business has continued to outperform the market in a very tough trading environment. Total revenues increased by 1% (like for like revenues declined by 2.2%) in a market which has declined by 7%.
Our local advertising, which accounts for 90% of our total radio revenues, grew by 1% in the period, whilst the total market for local advertising has declined by over 10%. First Radio Sales (FRS), our joint venture with Ulster TV which sells airtime to national advertisers for 126 local commercial stations including our own, continued to buck the trend in the national market, increasing sales by 8% in the period in a market which declined by 6%.
We have continued to grow the operating base of our business by launching new stations. In December, Durham FM went on air, is trading comfortably ahead of expectations and is already close to break even on a monthly basis. In September, we will be launching Brunel FM in Swindon followed by Northallerton in 2007. Currently, we await the result of our licence application in Hull.
Our Enterprise business has had an active six months and has a programme of outdoor summer concerts in our stations? marketing areas, featuring artists such as James Blunt, Westlife and Status Quo.