Ad income is music to Metro

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METRO Radio, the local radio group based in Newcastle, said yesterday that October and November advertising revenues had been 'well up' on the same time last year, writes Gail Counsell.

Neil Robinson, chairman, said demand had been stronger in recent months than for some time.

Metro's profits in the year to end-September rose by 27 per cent to pounds 2.4m, which helped push the share price up 21p to 233p. The final dividend is 4p, making 5.5p (5p) in total.

Advertising revenue was up 17 per cent at pounds 14.7m. Local and regional revenue was the star performer, rising 23 per cent; national revenue rose 1.9 per cent, though it recovered strongly in the second half.

The latest research shows Metro's three North-east stations dominating their markets with 43 per cent of all radio listening. But its Yorkshire stations manage only about 22 per cent.

The West Yorkshire FM and AM licences expire in December 1995, and the rest between July and December 1996.

The group also faces competition from a new, largely talk- based, North-east radio station that begins broadcasting next September.