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UTV reports 17% rise in first half profits

The Northern Ireland broadcaster increased its pre-tax profits to £9.4m, while revenue increased 9%

Northern Ireland broadcaster UTV Media has reported a 17 per cent increase in its pre-tax profits to £9.4m during the first six months of this year.

The group revenue increased 9 per cent to £59.2m, while its operating profit rose by 9 per cent to £12.2m.

The Belfast-based media group, which reported a £2.6m fall in pre tax profit in March, attributed the better-than-expected financial performance to an improving economic climate and the World Cup, as well as to strong control of costs.

The group said 60 per cent of its turnover and a majority of its profits have come from its radio businesses.

Revenues and operating profit at UTV's news and sport station, TalkSport, rose by 23 and 48 per cent, respectively, to £12.6m and £3.9m, during the period.

The gains from TalkSport offset a decline in operating profit at the group's local UK stations as well as a marginal fall in revenue at its Irish radio station.