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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
SMG puts Pearl & Dean up for sale
Pearl & Dean cinema ad
Pearl & Dean is an iconic name for many cinema-goers

Virgin Radio owner Scottish Media Group (SMG) has put cinema advertising business Pearl & Dean up for sale.

The news came as SMG posted a 38% rise in pre-tax profits to 8m for first half of the year, compared with 5.8m last time.

Pearl & Dean - which began advertising at ABC Cinemas in 1953 - generates 25% of cinema ad revenues in the UK.

But SMG said it had decided to concentrate on its TV, radio and online businesses following a review.

As a result, SMG also said it was also looking for offers for its outdoor advertising business Primesight, which owns more than 13,500 large outdoor advertising panels across the UK.

"Having reviewed the group's businesses, the board believes that, while Pearl & Dean and Primesight are excellent advertising businesses, they are no longer core to the group," the group said in a statement.

Tough market

SMG explained that the advertising market remained tough, and was unlikely to improve before the end of the year.

The news came just weeks after SMG rebuffed two merger proposals from Ulster Television (UTV).

However, the media group has not entirely closed the door on any further offers. It said it would still be interested in talks over a potential merger if it represented better value for its shareholders.

Last month, SMG turned down UTV's improved offer of 52% of the joint company for SMG shareholders.




SEE ALSO
Virgin Radio firm rejects merger
29 Aug 06 |  Business
'More bids' for Virgin Radio firm
20 Aug 06 |  Business
Merger move for Virgin Radio firm
18 Aug 06 |  Business
Scottish Media Group head resigns
18 Jul 06 |  Scotland
SMG fades out Grampian TV brand
30 May 06 |  North East/N Isles
UTV is in talks to buy Talksport
19 Apr 05 |  Business

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