Posting full-year results that broadly match analysts’ expectations, GWR Group – owner of britain’s national Classic FM radio station – expressed confidence that it could withstand the downturn in adspend.

Despite “difficult advertising market conditions” since the start of the year, GWR posted pre-tax profits before exceptional items of £20.7 million ($29.7m), 8.1% up on the previous year’s £19.1m. Turnover soared 24.4% year-on-year to £127.2m, with operating profit increasing 18.7% to £26.3m.

Behind the results lay a strong performance by the flagship Classic FM business, whose revenues jumped 22%, while revenues at local stations increased 16%.

In addition, GWR expects to continue growing healthily – the radio industry as a whole is forecast to achieve the strongest growth among traditional media this year, and the company also believes there is strong potential for expansion in its portfolio.

The group also announced that chairman Henry Meakin is to step down after fourteen years at the helm. His replacement is current chief executive Ralph Bernard, whose former post will be taken by his deputy Patrick Taylor.

News source: Financial Times