British commercial broadcaster Channel 4 is back in the black after posting its highest ever share of television advertising.

The broadcaster (state-owned but, unlike the BBC, ad-funded) posted pre-tax profits of £16.5 million ($26.4m; €23.7m) in 2002, up from a loss of £28m the year before.

Turnover climbed from £734m to £763m as advertising and sponsorship income rose 4% to £646m. This marks a rise in C4’s share of the TV ad market from 23.5% in 2001 to 24.1%, its highest ever.

Last year was also a record for C4’s viewing figures, with peak-time audience share rising to 9.7%. The station hiked its share of two advertiser-friendly categories: the 16-34 age group (up 0.2% to 12.8%) and the ABC1 demographic (up 0.4% to 11%).

Nevertheless, it has been a turbulent twelve months for C4, which closed its FilmFour movie-making unit last year after posting the first loss in its history. After stringent cost-cutting, non-programming expenditure declined 20%, allowing the channel to set its largest ever programming budget, £430m, for 2003.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff