Chrysalis heartened despite revenue decline

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Chrysalis, the radio and music company that owns Heart 106.2, said revenues had declined by about 4 per cent but added it had “comfortably outperformed” the market for the half-year period.

The group said the decline in revenue compared well against an industry that had seen revenues shrink by 8 per cent over the same period.

Chrysalis said it had seen improved trading for its radio arm in recent weeks, with like-for-like revenues expected to rise by 10 per cent in March and April.

The hard-pressed radio sector has suffered from general weakness in advertising spending as well as a shift in interest by marketers to internet advertising.

Last week rival GCap, which owns Capital Radio, and which last week decided to cancel an auction of its nine local radio stations and scrap a special dividend from the proceeds of the sale, said total revenues for the quarter ending March would decline by 17 per cent year on-year while revenues were expected to fall 13 per cent for the year ending March.

Patrick Yau, analyst with Bridgewell Securities said: “We believe the underlying radio market has changed little and remains unpredictable. It’s still pretty tough and Chrysalis had easy comparatives to beat. However, Capital seems to be bearing the brunt by virtue of its size.”

The wholesale DVD and CD distribution business also continued to trade strongly.

Chrysalis Music had a strong first six months despite the second half weighting of the year’s release schedule. Album releases scheduled for the second half include Gnarls Barkley and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well as greatest hits albums from Feeder and Moloko.

Chrysalis shares were up 6 per cent at 152 ¾ p in afternoon trade.

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