After posting a slight fall in earnings for 2002, Scottish media firm SMG warned that another year will pass before the ad market recovers.

The group, which owns Virgin Radio and is a member of the ITV television network, reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of £65.6 million $103.8m; €95.1m), down from £65.7m the year before, on a £2.4m dip in turnover to £278.4m.

It warned that the advertising market will remain soft until the situation in the Middle East is resolved, with no “material recovery” expected until 2004.

Ad revenues for 2002 were flat on the previous year thanks to a 9% increase in regional airtime sales. Virgin Radio suffered a 7% fall in revenues to £25.9m, but there were increases at its outdoor and cinema ad units (up 11% and 50% respectively).

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff