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UTV boss expects to move into profit by end of 2015... (no pressure then, Pat)

UTV Ireland is due to go on air on 1 January. The group expects to move into profit in the second half of the year.

Pat Kenny at UTV Ireland's preview event last week.
Pat Kenny at UTV Ireland's preview event last week.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE CHAIRMAN OF UTV Media says he expects the company to move into profit in the second half of next year.

However, an overall loss of between €2.5 and €3.7 million is still forecast for the 2015 calendar year.

The media group released its interim results for the six months up to the end of June this morning.

It says that the World Cup helped drive sales in the period, with group revenue growth of 13 per cent to €72.63 million reported, compared to a figure of €64.34 for the same period last year.

Overall, group revenue is expected to be up by 3 per cent in the third quarter of 2014.

Its new Irish TV channel is due to launch on 1 January, and UTV Chairman Richard Huntingford said he hoped it would in time become the country’s second most watched station, after RTE 1.

“As with all start-up television channels, the challenges of building audiences and attracting advertisers will be greatest in the first six months,” Huntingford said.

“At this early stage we are forecasting a full year loss of £2.0m-£3.0m. However, we would expect to move into profitability in the second half of 2015.”

UK imports

The company owns six Irish radio stations as well as UTV TV and a number of UK radio stations and websites, including the national broadcaster talkSPORT.

It announced last week that Pat Kenny had signed with the station to present a new show — the details of which have yet to be confirmed.

‘UTV Ireland’ is promising to offer serious news and current affairs coverage, in addition to a diet of UK soaps and other imports, including Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The Graham Norton Show.

UTV Ireland: No, we’re NOT combining Tallafornia and Geordie Shore for a super-reality-show>

More: Where will Ireland’s new TV station be located?>

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