Page last updated at 08:33 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 09:33 UK

Advertising downturn hits UTV

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UTV said revenue fell 9 per cent in the first four months of 2009 as advertisers continue to cut budgets.

The decline was steepest at its TV business where revenue fell 19 per cent, the company said on Friday.

Revenue at its UK radio stations fell 15 per cent in the four months to April while revenue at its Irish radio stations grew by 25 per cent.

The company said that overall trading was in line with expectations and that it had hit its profit target.

UTV said a £5m cost cutting plan, which has included job losses, is showing results.

"We remain cautious about trading prospects for the year but our cost cutting measures are having a positive impact and we are currently in line with the board's expectations," a statement said.

The company said prospects for its UK Radio division, which includes TalkSport, are due to improve in the coming months.

"We anticipate that revenue in this division will be down by 9% in May and June in line with somewhat improved market conditions," it said.

Numis Securities analyst Lorna Tilbian said: "We retain our view that free-to-air broadcasters are better positioned structurally than consumer publishers and therefore view them as more attractive recovery plays."

UTV's pre-tax profits fell 2% to £20.3 million last year.

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