Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, the ITV franchise holder, yesterday issued a writ against CIA, the media buyers, following an escalating dispute over the sale of air time in several ITV regions. YTT is claiming pounds 785,000, in settlement of the disagreement over discounts offered to CIA for the sale of air time which was not subsequently taken up. The dispute had thrown into further question the complicated arrangements used to sell ad time on ITV, industry leaders said last night. Other ITV companies at the centre of the wrangle are Granada, LWT and Border Television, all members of the Granada-controlled Laser sales house.
The John Lewis Partnership said its department store sales rose 11.1 per cent in the week to 2 November from a year earlier. For the 14 weeks to 2 November, turnover grew 15.6 per cent year-on-year. Total sales, including those from the Waitrose supermarket chain, rose 12.4 per cent in the 14-week period.
Porsche, the German sports car maker, is set to resume dividend payments after reporting net profits rose to DM48.1m (pounds 19.3m) in the year to July from DM2.1m a year earlier. A preference share dividend of DM2.50 and DM1.50 dividend per common share, equivalent to a total payout of DM3.5m, will be put to shareholders in January. In addition, preference shareholders will receive back-payments for the years they did not receive a dividend. Porsche last paid a dividend on its preference shares in 1992 and has not paid out on its ordinary shares since 1991.
Reliance Security said trading profits for the six months to 1 November would be substantially below market expectations and last year's figure. It said the market for contract security management and manpower services was experiencing continuing competitive pressures, resulting in a slowdown in growth levels experienced in previous years and margin decline.
Community Hospitals Group said Sir Peter Thompson had retired as chairman and resigned from the board.
Sema has been given a contract by Malaysia to develop computer software for the organisers of the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. Under the deal, valued at pounds 2.17m by industry sources, the group will supply and integrate all systems, ranging from accreditation, ticketing and transport to providing results. It will also develop an information system to be integrated with the Internet for world-wide distribution of real-time results and medal standings.
Hansom is raising pounds 1.58m in a placing and open offer. The group said that following the fund-raising, it would be able to look to the future "with confidence". First-half losses were cut from pounds 390,000 to pounds 222,000, but no interim dividend is being paid.
Dalgety warned shareholders that the continuing fall-out from the BSE scare meant first-half profits were unlikely to show any improvement. Yesterday's annual meeting was told that last year's "mad cow" problems were largely over, but that "inevitably the first half of our current year will be affected, and profits are unlikely to show improvement at the interim stage".
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