August 25, 2009

Canadian radio revenues jump in 2008

Private radio broadcasters in Canada saw a 12.2 percent jump in revenues in 2008 before the recession began, Statistics Canada reported from Ottawa Tuesday.

For the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, before the economic downturn battered all media advertising revenues, private radio broadcasters' revenues before interest and taxes increased 12.2 percent to $336.5 million, the agency said.

In 2008, the industry had a profit margin of 25.4 percent before interest and taxes in (major) markets, compared with 19.1 percent in medium-sized markets and 15.6 percent in small markets, StatsCan said.

The report noted there were 159 AM stations in the country, down by 15 from 2007 as part of a trend to switching to FM that began in the early 1990s. Regardless, the agency said AM stations generated a profit margin of 8.1 percent before interest and taxes, their best performance in the past 20 years.

However, since 1997, FM stations have consistently generated annual profit margins exceeding 20 percent before interest and taxes, the report said.