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29/11/2002

Granada report £164m loss on year

ITV giant Granada have warned that the advertising outlook remains gloomy, despite a 2% rise in revenues in the last three months of the year.
Granada said it was too early to predict the state of the market in the first quarter of next year, as it reported a full-year loss of £164m, after writing down the value of their digital TV licences by £250m.
The company's executive chairman, Charles Allen, said Granada and their ITV network partner, Carlton, were midway through negotiating advertising deals that account for up to 70% of their revenues.
Carlton recently said it faced a "challenging" advertising market in the run-up to the new year.
Allen said Granada had cut 408 jobs over 2002 after pouring an extra £100m into the network's programming budget and beating cost reduction targets.
Last year Granada trimmed 1,000 jobs from its 6,500-strong workforce.
The digital licences for the Anglia, Meridian and Border licences were written down by £250m, after Granada decided they had lost value because the analogue TV signal is unlikely to be switched off by the 2010 target.
Allen added that Granada and Carlton had submitted the proposal for their £2.6bn merger to the office of fair trading, which is expected to reach a preliminary verdict on the deal by January.
(GB)
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