Scottish Radio doubles first-half profits

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The Independent Online

Trading at Scottish Radio Holdings has got off to a strong start in the second half of its financial year, the media company said, as it reported that profits had more than doubled in the first half.

Advertising revenues remained buoyant at its radio division in the six-month period while its publishing unit also saw solid revenue growth from advertising and circulation. Lord Gordon of Strathblane, the chairman, said: "The strong first-half growth in revenues and operating profits in both radio and publishing is extremely encouraging. Trading in the second half has also started strongly."

The company, which recently bought GWR's stake in the pair's Vibe Radio venture, saw advertising revenue growth in double-digits for April and May, the chief executive Richard Findlay said. "In April and May, the growth has continued. We believe that that will continue to be the case in June. Further than June, it's still terribly difficult to call," he said.

The upbeat tone was sounded as Scottish Radio reported a more than doubling of pre-tax profits to £6.9m in the six months to 31 March. Turnover from continuing operations jumped 28 per cent to £41.5m.

Patrick Yau, an analyst at Bridgewell, said: "It [Scottish Radio] is bucking national radio advertising trends with a strong performance across its Scottish and Irish networks and the Score Press division has enjoyed both ad sales gains and circulation growth."

At its radio arm, where it operates stations including Radio Forth, Radio Clyde and Radio Tay, local advertising rose 3 per cent while national advertising climbed 8 per cent.

Revenues at its Score Press unit rose 8 per cent from the same period a year before with advertising revenues climbing 9 per cent and circulation revenues up 7 per cent.