Allied Radio on ice ahead of restructuring

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN Allied Radio, the loss- making independent broadcaster, were suspended at 101 2 p as it announced plans for a rights issue and capital reconstruction. Details will be sent to shareholders and stockholders later this week, with results for the year to 30 September.

The station, based in Crawley, brought in new management in mid-February. Brian Rowbotham, chairman, said the restructuring would involve the conversion of the pounds 5.8m loan stock into shares.

The reconstruction was trailed in June, when Allied revealed pre-tax losses of pounds 1.17m in the six months to March 1993.

Mr Rowbotham said he was confident the move had the support of institutional shareholders and would be accepted. Europe 1 Communication, the French media group, is the biggest shareholder.

Allied's principal stations are Radio Mercury and County Sound in the Home Counties. It has a 70 per cent stake in Manchester's Fortune Radio and has bid for the new West Midland FM radio franchise, whose winner will be announced soon.

Since February, Allied has cut from 12 to nine the number of minutes of advertising each hour, reversing earlier increases that had led to falling audiences. It is raising the rate charged to advertisers to stabilise revenue.

Mr Rowbotham said: 'If we get Birmingham as well as Manchester, we will stick at that. It takes three years or so to bring a radio station to profitability.' He said cost savings of pounds 900,000 identified in Allied's interim results would show no benefits in the year to September 1993, but would aid current year results.

GWR said revenues rose strongly in the first six months of the current financial year, with significant advances at core stations.

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