SelecTV soars 42% as cable arm takes off

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The Independent Online
SelecTV, the independent television producer and cable channel operator, yesterday unveiled pre-tax profits up 42 per cent to pounds 1.3m, on lower turnover of pounds 20.6m, for the year ended 31 March.

The company, maker of hits such as Lovejoy, Birds of a Feather and Love Hurts, is also the managing partner of the Meridian TV licence and a 20 per cent owner of UKTV, the highest bidder for the new Channel 5 licence, due to be awarded in November.

Its main business to date has been the production and distribution of TV programmes for other broadcasters. Earlier this year, however, it launched a new cable channel, SelecTV, featuring its own programmes.

The start-up costs for the new channel have not yet been fully reflected in the company accounts.

If UKTV is awarded the Channel 5 licence, SelecTV will subscribe to 20 per cent of UKTV's equity, in league with partners CanWest, the Canadian broadcaster and Channel 10 of Australia. The investment is to be financed "creatively," says executive chairman Alan McKeown, and is unlikely to require a rights issue.

Mr McKeown said he would concentrate in 1995 on developing the company as producer, distributor and broadcaster.