Radio company GWR Group – owner of national UK station Classic FM – warned it is not expecting any improvement in the ad market until next year.

Although the group posted an 8% year-on-year rise in revenues for its financial first quarter, this included the purchase of DMG Radio and the Marcher Group. Excluding the contribution from these acquisitions, revenues fell 11%. Ad income (accounting for some 40% of all UK radio revenues) dropped 4% at local stations and 15% at nationals.

“Looking beyond the second quarter, we await consistent evidence that the current market conditions will improve,” said chairman Henry Meakin. “However, for the purpose of our internal forecasts, we are not assuming any significant recovery in the advertising market until the first quarter of 2002.”

However, Meakin’s forecast was not entirely gloomy: “We are encouraged by evidence which suggests that radio in the UK is performing better than most other media, in particular television, and continues to grow its share of total display advertising revenues.” He also revealed that performance is improving from the first quarter – local stations are expecting a small year-on-year rise in total Q2 revenues.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)