Belfast Telegraph

18% drop in debt leaves UTV in strong position, despite profit fall

UTV reported a £2.6m fall in |pre-tax profits in its preliminary results yesterday.

The company, which also operates radio stations in Ireland and Britain, posted an £18.1m profit for 2009, compared to £20.7m the year before. More than 60% of the public limited company's turnover and most of its profit are now derived from radio.

Net debt fell by 18% to £88.5m. Chief executive John McCann said that the results were evidence of the “robustness” of the |company, despite the economic downturn.

“The reduction in net |debt by 18% and cost savings ahead of target, mean that the company is in a strong position to tackle the new financial year.”

Revenue from radio operations was £68m, £43.2m generated in its Great Britain radio division, which includes talkSPORT and £24.8m was derived from its Irish radio operations.

Television division profits were down by £5.5m to £32.5m in 2009.

Chairman John B McGuckian described financial performance as “strong” but said the company had been put under “enormous pressure” by the recession.

Belfast Telegraph