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14/05/2001

CHANNEL 4 LAUNCH 4 VENTURES LIMITED

CHANNEL 4 have published their Annual Report for 2000 and formally launched a new incorporated company, 4 Ventures Limited, to manage all their film and other new business activities.
The Annual Report revealed record levels of investment and revenues for Channel 4 in 2000. Investment in programmes for the main Channel 4 service increased year on year by £32 million to £423 million, helping Channel 4 to increase their share of total TV viewing to 10.5 per cent and their share of viewing in multi-channel homes from 6.9 per cent to 7.2 per cent. This investment in programming was matched by an 8 per cent increase in advertising sales and sponsorship revenue for the main channel to £652 million.
Group turnover rose by 12 per cent to an historical high of £716 million bolstered by the strong ratings and revenue performance of Channel 4 and increased turnover from other activities. The divisions and subsidiaries of Channel 4 that are combining to form 4 Ventures - FilmFour, FilmFour channel, E4, Channel Four Interactive, Channel Four International and Commercial Development - collectively increased turnover by 52 per cent.
Vanni Treves, Channel 4 Chairman, said: "The editorial and commercial successes detailed in our report and accounts for 2000 show Channel 4 are now more than a television channel. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, we have identified the need to open up new revenue streams to lessen our reliance on advertising revenue while at the same time strengthening our core business.
"Our decision to invest in both our terrestrial business and our new, cross-platform activities has been rewarded by an outstanding performance by the core Channel 4 service and a portfolio of new services in pay-TV and on the internet, which broaden choice and will become net cash contributors to Channel 4, helping to sustain the core channel."
Michael Jackson, Channel 4 Chief Executive said that the formation of 4 Ventures was also intended to bring increased focus to the management of Channel 4's new business activities. He said: "Our new businesses have met the targets laid down in their original business plans and shown their potential to become net cash contributors to Channel 4 in the short to mid term. 4 Ventures will allow us to manage these new businesses more aggressively to ensure they open up new sources of revenue and offer a return on Channel 4's investment, helping to insulate the core service against more competitive times ahead." (CD)
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