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UBC cuts its losses by 40 percent

UBC Media Group – which makes radio programmes alongside other multimedia production work – has announced losses of £300,000 in the half-year to the end of September.

That compares with losses of half a million pounds in the same period last year – but margins were improved as the company’s revenue only fell by £100,000 to £2.0m.

Revenue from the firm’s digital video production work has increased, and the report shows that work for the BBC now represents just 41% of turnover, compared with 47% this time last year. Revenues from mobile phone projects in the group’s Interactive division nearly doubled to £84,000.

Figures also show that UBC has £3.78m in the bank, compared with £5.11m at the end of September 2010.

Simon Cole, Chef Executive, said: “We continue the cautious approach following our disposal two years ago, gradually improving margins and re-aligning our core business whilst waiting for the economic climate to deliver us further acquisition opportunities at the right value. The growth of our video production is particularly encouraging; we are benefitting from changed working practices in this area, which favour smaller and leaner production operations. I am confident of a second half which will show further movement in these areas.”

In the report, Cole added that the company has considered the purchase of other companies to add to the UBC portfolio. “We have continued to explore acquisitions but remain cautious about exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk by paying unjustified multiples in uncertain economic conditions,” he wrote.

Recent radio commissions for the group include the new daily Radcliffe and Maconie programme for BBC 6 Music and Radio 2’s Sounds of the Sixties show on Saturday mornings.

Simon Cole added: “Our core business of programme production – with the BBC as our largest customer – provides a strong base with good visibility and multiple recurrent contracts. As market leader in radio production, we do not expect to see significant growth here, although the BBC’s recent announcements about increasing outsourcing are encouraging.”

Meanwhile in a trading update last month, UBC Media announced that it had been awarded patents in the UK and Australia for technology developed during its investment in the Cliq music downloading service. The consumer-facing service was scrapped in 2008, but it’s understood UBC could now use the technology on other industry projects.

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