Tibus acquisition boosts UTV’s new-media revenues by 15pc

6 Nov 2008

UTV Media plc said today that its acquisition of Tibus earlier this year impacted revenue by an additional 15pc in the 10 months leading up to October, with strong margin improvement.

In February, UTV acquired Belfast web-design firm Tibus for £5m sterling.

“Revenue for the year is forecast to be up 15pc on last year,” UTV said in a statement regarding its New Media division.

Overall, UTV Media plc as a group achieved revenue growth of 6pc in a challenging media environment.

The group’s Irish radio division delivered growth of 50pc in the 10 months to October. But revenue in November/December is forecast to be broadly flat against last year on a like-for-like basis.

TV revenue declined 6pc, compared with a network decline of 7pc. Advertising revenue in November/December is forecast to be down 10pc.

In July, UTV issued 38.3 million shares as part of a rights issue that raised £49.9m sterling for the company to help reduce debts. It also put in place a five-year £95m sterling and €50m debt facility.

“The increased fragility of the financial markets re-inforces the importance of having secured refinancing of our debt through to 2013,” the company stated.

The company has expressed difficulty predicting revenue for the rest of the year because of global and national economic uncertainty.

“That uncertainty has been exacerbated by the turmoil in the financial markets over the past two months.

“However, each of our operating divisions continues to perform well relative to their peer groups, and the positive effects of a significant cost-reduction programme across the group should start to be evident in the early part of 2009,” UTV Media plc said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years