Wireless Group, owner of radio programme TalkSport, has recorded a slump in profits ahead of its £220m sale to News UK with pre-tax profits slipping from £5m in the six months to 30 June last year to just £4.5m over the same period this year.
The disappointing figures contrast with a three per cent rise in revenues to £38.2m.
News UK has long coveted TalkSport as a backdoor into the radio sports sector which is still dominated by the BBC, with the Wireless Group station being the only commercial nationwide station to air Premier League games.
Despite the poor financial results Wireless Group maintains that the takeover bid is maintaining momentum, pointing out that 92 per cent of its shareholders agreed the 315p per share offer.
Its chairman Richard Huntingford said: “TalkSport has especially performed well in the first six months of the year. After a competitive bidding process, we were also delighted to be awarded three packages for Premier League live audio rights.”
Talksport’s audience has increased to 3.3m listeners per week following the Euro 2016 championships but this has failed to counteract a slowdown in advertiser demand blamed on uncertainties surrounding the EU referendum and a slow market in Ireland.