Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK


Business: The Company File

Granada profits up



Profits are up sharply at Granada, the ITV television company that also owns a string of hotels and restaurants across the UK.

Pre-tax half-year profits rose by 15% to £315m this time from £274m last year, better than expected by analysts.


[ image: TV programming has proved profitable]
TV programming has proved profitable
The results exclude the start-up costs of OnDigital, which is engaged in a fierce war for customers with Sky Digital. Granada has spent £38m on its share of the pay TV channel so far.

Granada said it would propose a two-for-one share split, and increase its dividend to 5.9p.

Granada chairman Gerry Robinson said the company was on track for double digit profit growth for the next three years.

Granada shares rose 1.3% in early trading in London, reaching £13.31.

"Granda's figures are certainly the pick of the bunch today, with a good dividend and a stock split too," one dealer said.

TV profits higher

The results were boosted by strong results from the group's media division, which made a profit of £122m, largely because of increased advertising revenue from television.


[ image: The catering business is growing fast]
The catering business is growing fast
As well as owning the ITV franchise for Northwest England, Granada also owns Yorkshire, Tyne-Tees and London Weekend Television - in total nearly one-third of the ITV system.

Programme sales are expected to increase by 20% in the second half of the year.

The hotel and catering business also had a strong start to the second half of the year.

Sales at its restaurants were up 10% in April and May, while sales at the budget hotel chain Travelodge showed a 13% increase.

Granada acquired the hotel business of Trusthouse Forte, but had encountered earlier criticism that it was slow to dispose of unwanted businesses.

ONdigital on-track

The company said that subscriptions to its digital pay TV channel had been increasing dramatically since it launched the offer of free decoder boxes.

"Sales are going extremely well since the digital decoder offer, especially through our own Granada rental shops," Mr Robinson said.

There were 110,000 subscribers by the end of March - far below the target of 2 million by 2001.

Granada said that if ONdigital was successful, it could float the venture as a separate company.

It is jointly owned with Carlton, another leading ITV company.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Company File Contents


Relevant Stories

24 May 99 | The Company File
Digital price war hots up

08 Apr 99 | The Company File
Digital television war is on





Internet Links


Granada


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles