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30/03/2001

UTV ANNOUNCE 20 PER CENT INCREASE IN PROFITS

UTV have announced a 20 per cent increase in their television operating profit to £14.3m, up from £11.9m last year.
John McCann, Managing Director of UTV, said: "2000 has been an exceptional year for the group. Following our acquisition of DNA in March last year we successfully re-launched the service as UTV Internet. In February this year, the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) approved in principle our acquisition of 60 per cent of County Media and we have recently joined a consortium of leading broadcasters to bid for the ITV news contract which is currently held by ITN.”
Group operating profit before amortisation of goodwill was up by 13 per cent to £13.4million. This was up from £11.9m last year on a turnover of £40.8m, up 6.5 per cent from 1999, after charging an internet loss of £0.8m for the period.
McCann said UTV's strong market position had been further demonstrated by television advertising revenues that had increased 6.2 per cent to £38.9m up from £36.6m in 1999. Peak time share for the first two months of this year was 42 per cent, which places UTV at the top end of the ratings table of ITV companies.
Along with other regional ITV licences UTV recently announced a move to include broadcasting via digital satellite later this year.
McCann added: "Upon completion of our acquisition in Cork, we will launch an Internet service in Munster which will cater specifically for users in that region through the provision of local content and interaction.
"Our stated intention in 2000 was to develop our business to encompass a broad range of media activities. The acquisitions which we have made in Internet and radio now complement our television service. I am confident that we have laid the foundations for the creation of a strong media player which will be able to take advantage of opportunities which arise."
He said UTV were in a very strong position to take advantage of future opportunities. (CD)
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