At its annual general meeting yesterday, Granada Media chairman Charles Allen told investors and analysts that the group’s focus must now move from restructuring Granada to restructuring ITV as a whole.

Argued Allen: “This process both logically and inevitably leads towards a single ITV company when legislation and regulation permits. From the work that we carried out recently we identified further potential savings from a single ITV of over £50 million a year.”

A combined ITV, he claimed, would produce a number of benefits:

• “For our viewers, by providing high quality network and regional programming;

• “For our advertisers, by securing a strong schedule and the mass audiences they require to promote their products;

• “For shareholders of both companies through the shared benefits of creating a more efficient and effective ITV.”

Turning to the last twelve months, Allen reported that Granada had pursued a strategy positioning it to benefit from an upturn in the global advertising market. It aims to do so by strengthening its position within ITV and by completing the integration of its Meridian and Anglia franchises.

The group also plans a series of initiatives that will eliminate certain peripheral loss making businesses and deliver £60 million a year of cost savings by 2003. At the same time Granada will focus on its core television business, now simplified into two divisions: Content and Broadcasting Enterprises.

Data sourced from: Granada Media website; additional content by WARC staff