CLASSIC ROCK RADIO station Radio Nova slipped further into the red last year as its accumulated losses climbed to more than €5 million.
According to new accounts just released for Classic Rock Broadcasting Ltd, the company behind Radio Nova, the station made a loss of just over €750,000 in the 12 months to the end of December 2015.
This was up on the loss of just over half a million euro it reported the year before.
One of the only independent radio stations in Ireland, Radio Nova is based in Dublin and primarily broadcasts to the capital, although its signal can be picked up in several other counties including Kildare and Meath.
Accumulated losses at the company rose to €5.1 million, up from €4.4 million as of the end of 2014.
Staff costs rose slightly during 2015, from just over €1 million to just under €1.2 million, as the number of people employed by the company increased from 23 to 25.
The company’s debtors, people who owe money to the station, stood at €439,424 at the end of the year. Its creditors, people who it owes money to, falling within one year stood at €2.7 million.
Radio Nova CEO Kevin Branigan told Fora that the station is “happy with our commercial progress in what is a very competitive radio market”.
“We’re only on air 6 years, while most of our competitors are on air more than 20 years, so we view our trading performance in a long term context,” he said.
“We developed our commercial team significantly in 2015 and, having experienced significant growth in net revenues in 2016, we’re confident that our commercial plan is delivering.”
He added that the station “increased net revenues significantly in 2016, measured against a similar cost base” and is currently profitable.
Launched in September 2010, the station has recently made known its ambitions to broaden its horizons.
Radio Nova has been running trial broadcasts in other parts of the country with the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).
The station has recently run test broadcasts as The Rock in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Kilkenny, Drogheda and Dundalk, with a view to securing permanent licences in those areas.
Nova also trialled the same proposal in 2013 using BAI temporary licences.
The Sunday Business Post reported last year that such an expansion would see Nova take on an extra 10 staff. Kevin Branigan, the station’s chief executive, told the paper that the proposal would see a ‘quasi-national’ radio service being created.
“It’s arguable, however, that people would receive benefits from an additional, popular service, as long as the sustainability issue, which we agree with, can be adequately dealt with,” he said.
The most recent Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) figures showed that the station has a daily audience of 76,000 in its current licence area.
Radio Nova also recently announced that it is taking legal action against the operators of the Dublin Port Tunnel, due to the fact that there are currently only seven radio stations broadcast in the 4.5km tunnel.
This piece was updated to include comments from Radio Nova CEO Kevin Branigan.