Granada and LWT to link foreign sales

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The Independent Online
TWO of the most successful programme makers in the Independent Television network, Granada and LWT, are to combine their overseas sales teams in a new company, writes Jason Nisse.

The move will mean that about 25 staff will be made redundant, though it has not been finalised how many will go from Granada and how many from LWT.

Andrew Quinn, head of Granada TV, said the move was made for two reasons.

First, it would save costs in the same way as many ITV companies have saved money by combining their advertising sales forces.

Second, the new company, Granada LWT International, would be able to sell a greatly enhanced catalogue of programmes, which will give it more power in the world TV markets. Among the programmes it can offer are Poirot, Upstairs Downstairs, Sherlock Holmes and Prime Suspect.

In addition, Mr Quinn said the new company was likely to purchase other catalogues to sell alongside LWT's and Granada's.

Pre-tax profits at Border TV, the smallest ITV franchise holder, rose 40 per cent to pounds 1.22m in the year to 30 April and the group is expecting advertising revenue growth for the rest of this year. It is bidding for the Carlisle independent radio franchise.

Earnings per share rose from 6p to 7.6p and the final divdend of 1.6p makes a total of 2.7p (2.1p).