C4 switches off profits and makes a loss

Channel 4 is set to announce its first annual loss in a decade after the state-owned corporation used some of its cash reserves to fund new programming such as the Paralympics.

Annual sales from advertising should top £1bn for a second year, as C4 sold ads for third parties including UKTV and recently won a similar contract for the new BT Sport operation.

C4 made a bumper profit of £44m in 2011, thanks to the movie spin-off of The In-Betweeners, but last year there was no one-off success to boost the coffers.

The wider TV ad market was broadly flat last year, according to the Advertising Association. C4 held cash and equivalents of £290m, according to the last annual report.