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RTE post 1st pre-tax surplus since 2007

Tuesday, July 01 14:06:04

RTE today said that, following massive cutbacks and despite falls in commercial income, it has not only hit break-even but has recorded a small surplus of E1.1m for the full year 2013.

This is the first time the organisation has reported a pre-tax surplus since 2007.

Director General, Noel Curran, said that from 2008 onwards RTE faced considerable decline in revenue.

"In response, decisive action was taken including a radical restructuring of the entire organisation. Notwithstanding some particularly difficult financial years, throughout all of this time we have continued to deliver and develop the full range of RTE services," he said.

"The uncertainties of the future will continue to challenge RTE. Even while the recession is slowly lifting, the overall media market continues to be highly competitive and fragmented with increasing numbers of UK channels selling Irish advertising; new channels emerging; and an increased migration of viewers to digital services. RTÉ will continue on its five year journey to transform to a public service multimedia organisation serving Irish audiences with quality content and a breadth of services. 2013 was the first year of that strategy and good progress was made," Mr Curran added.

Since 2008 RTE has reduced its operating cost base by over E132 million, or 30pc, the report said.

Following a wide-ranging strategic review, a major restructuring of RTE's operations took place to continue to reduce its operating cost base and return to financial stability.

RTE now has one of the smallest work forces and is at the lower end of comparable public funding of any public broadcaster in the EBU. The break-even position achieved in 2013 was the result of all of these measures and a rigorous financial management, the report said.