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Capital Radio Profits Hit By Ad Decline

Radio revenues at Capital Radio fell by 7% to £59.6 million for the six months ended 31 March 2002, the group announced this morning. Group revenue dropped by 8% to £60.0 million during the same period, whilst underlying pre-tax profit fell 20% to £14.2 million.

Capital says that combined radio revenues for April and May are expected to show a year on year decline of around 3%, which analysts at ABN Amro describes as 'a touch disappointing'.

Nevertheless, the group has achieved operational savings of £1.5 million in the first half from a 5% eduction in head count, a reduction in capital expenditure and content and production efficiency savings. In addition, digital radio costs are expected to be £5.8 million this year, down from an expected £6.5 million.

The results come just days after a disappointing RAJAR period for the group's flagship station, Capital 95.8 FM, which saw weekly reach decline by 8.7% and share of listening down by 0.9% points to 10.0%.

Further de-regulation desired Capital says that it welcomes the Government's recent Draft Communications Bill, but argues that the proposed radio de-regulation does not go far enough. "Accordingly we, together with our trade body the CRCA, will be pressing the Government vigorously for further de-regulation of radio ownership during the consultation period of the Bill," this morning's statement said.

At 10:15am today, shares in Capital Radio were trading down 14½p at 765p.

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