Communicorp Media revenues grew by an impressive 6% in 2018, outperforming the radio advertising market. This, along with a decrease in operating costs of 1%, as a result of the business re-structure which took place in 2017, led to an improvement in Operating Profit (before exceptional costs) from €1.4m to €4.2m year-on-year.
The radio sector remains a cornerstone of Irish society with over 81% of people tuning in daily to listen to their favourite station. Radio audiences have remained constant, despite overwhelming levels of unregulated digital content competing for “ear-space” from the digital audio sector.
Group CEO, Adrian Serle, commented “The profile and quality of radio across Ireland remains extremely high, providing un-paralleled opportunities for advertisers to reach highly engaged audiences with creative, well-targeted messages. Radio is trusted, it delivers significant reach, and it is probably the most cost-efficient medium in the market.”
Mr Serle continued by saying “Despite being constantly challenged by unregulated digital media competitors, we are very pleased with our business performance. Our revenues continue to out-perform the market, and we have seen audience growth across our portfolio. Our latest innovative launches in the digital and content space, will ensure that our business remains relevant to audiences, meaningful to advertisers, and resilient to these external threats. Most importantly they will ensure our business continues to thrive for years to come.”
To reflect the well documented changes to consumers audio consumption, in 2019 Communicorp Media launched “GoLoud”, a new App which has consolidated the Groups radio stations, brand extensions, music streams, and podcasts in one place. GoLoud also provides content from external third-party creators to fully satisfy consumer audio needs. In addition, the Group successfully launched Off The Ball Sports Radio, Irelands first ever sports radio station. Both launches will enable the Group to capture a more significant share of consumer’s time and grow digital audio revenue through its new digital audio sales platform, AudioXi. AudioXi itself has established a marketing-leading position, representing over 20 million monthly impressions, that span across radio, podcasting and music streaming. As a result of this progress, the Group continues to see revenue growth in 2019, despite some market anxiety around Brexit.
During the year, the Group also disposed of its operations in Bulgaria.