UTV Media, owner of Northern Irish broadcaster UTV, has cut the 2015 revenue forecast for its new channel UTV Ireland by £2.5 million (€3.5 million).
In an interim management statement for the first quarter, UTV said that the Republic of Ireland channel, which launched on January 1, has “had a slower start to the year,” as previously advised.
“It is still very early in the life of UTV Ireland and there is considerable volatility in its performance. Given that volatility we think it would be appropriate to reduce our revenue forecasts for 2015 by £2.5m. The strategic logic of UTV Ireland in creating leading television operations throughout Ireland remains clear,” said UTV.
In March, UTV said it expects UTV Ireland to make losses in the region of £6 million (€8.4 million) in 2015 having faced a “number of challenges” in the run-up to its launch – including delays in negotiations with ad agencies.
In its interim statement, UTV said that TV revenues grew by 25% in the three months to March and that its core television business grew by 27% – mainly generated by UTV Ireland in its first three months.
“In Q2 we anticipate Television revenues will increase by 37%, with core Television growing by 42%, again due to the inclusion of UTV Ireland,” said UTV.
Overall, the firm’s group revenue was up 7% year-on-year to £29.7 million.