GCap warns of worse to come at ailing Capital

Revenues at GCap Media's flagship station, Capital Radio, have plunged 26 per cent in recent weeks, with no recovery likely for a year.

The company, the biggest radio group, which also owns Classic FM, admitted yesterday that a new strategy was not showing signs of paying off in the numbers for Capital Radio, which has already been in sharp decline for the past five years.

Ralph Bernard, the chief executive, said: "We are expecting Capital to go down [further] before it goes up. This is a long-term fix."

Mr Bernard said that reaction among advertisers and listeners had been positive to the decision to limit advert slots to just two in any commercial break on Capital Radio. The company released research which found that listeners were 38 per cent more likely to recall an advert in a two-ad break, compared with the five-ad breaks that are the norm in the industry.

"There was advertising clutter. Listeners were irritated by the over-commercialisation. We decided to do something radical, that would also increase the effectiveness of advertising," Mr Bernard said.

The new advertising policy was put in place at the end of last year, while in January Capital Radio's content was overhauled to appeal more to younger women and to be more relevant to London.

Mr Bernard said he did not expect an upturn in audiences to show up until the figures for the fourth quarter of 2006, which are published in February next year - the consequent rise in revenues from selling ad slots would take a further few months after that.

Steve Liechti, an analyst at Investec Securities, said: "They are talking the talk but revenues are still below expectations. People say things have stabilised but that is not coming through at the revenue or profit level. Meanwhile, the ad markets continue to be very tough."

For the year ended 31 March, group revenues were down 13 per cent at £220.2m. Pre-tax profits slumped 40 per cent to £22.2m. Revenues for April and May are down 4 per cent for the group as a whole but within that, Capital Radio is 26 per cent lower than last year. The company added that June was looking to be no better. Analysts pointed out that the falls were compared with an April-to-June quarter last year that had itself been down 10 per cent.

Mr Bernard said the company had received no bid approaches from private equity groups, despite recent feverish speculation a takeover offer is imminent.

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits