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UPDATE 1-UTV Media sees fall in 2nd-quarter revenue at largest division
May 14, 2015 / 7:32 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UTV Media sees fall in 2nd-quarter revenue at largest division

(Adds details, analyst comment, share movement)

May 14 (Reuters) - Northern Irish radio and television broadcaster UTV Media Plc said it expected a 16 percent fall in second-quarter revenue at its largest division Radio GB from a year earlier, a period which saw the 2014 FIFA World Cup build-up.

UTV Media shares fell almost 16 percent to 149 pence in early trading. The stock was among the biggest percentage losers on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

UTV, which went ‘on air’ as Ulster Television in 1959 after Sir Laurence Olivier delivered the first official broadcast, said revenue at its talkSPORT radio station would fall 25 percent in the second quarter.

Second-quarter revenue at its television business, which accounted for about a third of sales last year, would rise 37 percent, the broadcaster said.

However, the Belfast-based company expects a further revenue loss of 2.5 million pounds ($3.9 million) for the full year at UTV Ireland, its newest television channel, and said that there was considerable volatility in the division’s performance.

UTV said in March that it expected a full-year loss of about 6 million pounds from UTV Ireland, hurt in part by delayed negotiations with advertisers and slower-than-expected audience build.

Numis analysts forecast a loss of 3.5 million pounds at UTV Ireland in 2016, before a move into breakeven in 2017.

“After a Q1 which was impacted by delays to tuning and aggressive competitive action, losses will reduce steadily through the year,” Numis analysts wrote in a note.

They kept their view that the long-term opportunity for UTV Ireland remained significant. ($1 = 0.6350 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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