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UTV Media World Cup Success

Tuesday, August 26 08:26:57

Northern Irish radio and television broadcaster UTV Media Plc reported a 13 percent rise in first-half revenue as its radio stations drew in fans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The company, which held radio rights to the tournament, said it expects third-quarter revenue to grow 3 percent, underpinned by improving economic conditions in the UK and Ireland.

Shares of the Belfast-based company rose 0.6 percent to 211 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.

UTV said in May that it expected a big boost to first-half revenue from World Cup-related advertising.

The company reported revenue of 57.8 million pounds for the six months ended June 30 compared with 51.2 million pounds a year earlier.

Pretax profit rose 62 percent to 10 million pounds in the period.

"The 2014 FIFA World Cup added a further boost to advertising spend, with talkSPORT in particular enjoying strong growth in the first half of the year," Chairman Richard Huntingford said in a statement.

Revenue at talkSPORT radio station jumped 33 percent, helping revenue at the company's largest division, Radio GB, rise 20 percent to 28.5 million pounds.

Radio GB operates talkSPORT, talkSPORT International, Sport magazine, 13 independent local radio stations in England and Wales.

The increased revenue was not a surprise as the company said in May that it expected a big boost from the World Cup.

UTV said on Tuesday it expected a 5 percent increase in Radio GB revenue and a 7 percent rise in talkSPORT revenue in the third quarter.

The company announced an interim dividend of 1.82 pence per share, up from 1.75 pence a year earlier. (Reuters)

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