For the first time in five years Irish national broadcaster RTE is back in the black.
It has recorded a surplus of E2.2m (£1.4m) for 2003, reversing the deficit of E56m it ran up in 2002 and giving the station its first annual surplus since 1998.
However, due to intense competition from broadcasters such as Sky and TV3, RTE’s advertising revenue fell by E3.7m to E132m.
The figures, just published, show that RTE One Television remains the station’s primary cash cow, bringing in E63m of advertising revenue. The figures also show that the news division cost E46.2m in 2003.
RTE director-general Cathal Goan said RTE Radio was losing significant market share. He announced there would be a “more assertive marketing campaign” to try to improve the national broadcaster’s showing.
By Des Cryan in Dublin