HomeBussinessRevenues at Murdoch-owned radio group rise to €22.4m

Revenues at Murdoch-owned radio group rise to €22.4m

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Ryan Tubridy’s radio show on Wireless Radio-owned Virgin Radio UK is also broadcast on some of  the group’s sister stations in Ireland, including Q102 and LMFM. Photo: Evan Doherty

Significant growth in digital revenues last year helped to deliver a €343,000 increase in overall revenues to €22.4m at the radio group that operates Cork’s 96FM and FM104 in Dublin.

New accounts filed by the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wireless Radio (ROI) Ltd show that the increase in revenues to €22.4m coincided with pre-tax losses increasing by €200,000 to €2.78m in the 12 months to the end of July 2 last.

The directors state that “digital revenues in particular delivered significant growth in the period and we continue to invest in this area”.

The group also owns Limerick’s Live 95Fm and Q102 in Dublin and the accounts show that group earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by €85,000 to €2.7m.

The directors state that the impact of the increased revenue in the year on Ebitda has been offset by a smaller ­increase in the operating costs.

The News Corporation-owned group – which also operates LMFM – last year recorded post-tax losses of €1.18m after recording a corporation tax credit of €1.595m.

The directors state that “economic conditions were difficult during the ­period, compounded by the war in Ukraine and the ongoing challenges of spiralling cost-of-living increases”.

They say that “in spite of these challenges, however, the company continues to benefit from an improving revenue performance and we commend the hard work and dedication of our loyal staff base throughout the period”.

The directors say that the group’s local stations “deliver significant listenership in their respective franchise areas and combine to offer a quasi-national urban-targeted commercial proposition”.

They say that the group has sufficient financial resources available to be able to continue future growth strategies.

Numbers employed by the group last year increased from 201 to 225, with staff costs rising €816,000 from €10.99m to €11.81m. Directors’ pay totalled €265,000.

The group’s combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs last year totalled €5.48m. Operating lease costs declined from €1.27m to €995,000.

The group had a shareholders’ deficit of €10.6m. This was made up of accumulated losses of €54.2m offset by share capital of €43.56m.

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