Edinburgh's talk station needs to show 'considerable improvement' if it is to achieve break-even by the end of year three – owners UTV have announced this morning. The warning comes after disappointing RAJAR audience figures for quarter 2, 2007, with revenue around the group remaining flat for the six months ended 30 June 2007.
Forecast losses for the full year 2007 for talk 107 is exactly the same as 2006 at £1.7m. UTV stations in Ireland got off to a good start this year, but short term weakness in local advertising revenue in Q2 undermined this promise, the Chairman reported.
John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV, said: "UTV has again performed strongly in a challenging period for the media industry. I am particularly pleased with the performance of the television and UK radio divisions which have once again outpaced their peers. While the performance of Irish radio in Q2 was disappointing, we have taken steps to address this and are confident of an improvement in the second half of this year.
"Radio is becoming increasingly important to the group, and now contributes 55% of group revenues. We are pleased with the progress being made by talkSPORT, and delighted to have been part of the C4 consortium which won the licence to operate the UK’s second national commercial DAB multiplex.
"The outlook for Q3 is positive. We expect growth in UK and Irish radio advertising markets and television should start to benefit from better programming. While we expect market conditions to remain challenging, we remain confident that we will continue to deliver solid earnings growth."
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