Granada, the UK’s largest terrestrial broadcaster and half of the ITV controlling duo, announced Monday first half profits up year-on-year by 35 per cent from £48 million pre-tax ($78.71m; €67.35m) to £65m.
This figure, however, excludes charges in relation to the £1.25 billion loss it shared with ITV partner Carlton Communications on their defunct ITV Digital joint-venture.
Advertising income from the ITV1 and ITV2 channels edged up 1% compared with the same period last year, with Granada's share totalling £442m. Its share of turnover rose 3% from £713m to £734m.
Chairman Charles Allen, fresh from his remuneration clash with disgruntled shareholders [WAMN: 07-May-03], was in gung-ho mood: “The ITV fightback is well underway,” he proclaimed.
“ITV’s performance is benefiting from a clear strategy, better scheduling, more focused marketing and a bigger programme budget. However, net advertising revenue remains difficult to predict against the current uncertain economic outlook.”
He also warned that June revenues will nowhere near match the cash registers that chimed so musically during last year’s soccer World Cup. Nevertheless, Granada will continue to develop ‘banker’ programmes which could also be sold to the international market.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff