Sell-offs boost profits at Scottish Television

Exceptional gains of pounds 33.2m from disposals helped Scottish Television achieve record profits of pounds 61.2m last year. The acquisition of Caledonian Publishing has also provided the group with a broader operating base and made a significant contribution to profits.

The group plans to change its name later this year to reflect the move towards a multimedia company, executive chairman Gus Macdonald said yesterday.

The recent sale of the 20 per cent stake in HTV acquired from Flextech in 1995 to United News & Media was part of a programme of selling off low-yielding investments to help finance the pounds 120m paid for Caledonian. The disposal realised pounds 73.7m and created an exceptional gain of pounds 37.3m.

United also bought Scottish TV's 5 per cent stake in ITN, which yielded a further exceptional profit of pounds 3.9m.

Excluding exceptionals, profit before tax was still up 40 per cent to pounds 28m and operating profits rose 37 per cent to pounds 25.6m.

Turnover from continuing operations grew by 16 per cent to pounds 114.7m. Operating profit from continuing operations increased by 26 per cent to pounds 23.9m, earnings per share rose by 13 per cent to 31p and a final dividend of 13.2p brings the full- year figure to 18.7p, an increase of 15 per cent. .

Broadcasting turnover rose by 8 per cent and operating profits rose by 24 per cent to pounds 20.6m. Advertising revenues also improved 8 per cent to pounds 81.4m, increasing the company's share of ITV net advertising revenue from 4.77 per cent to 4.91 per cent. In the second half of the year it was back above 5 per cent.

Programme sales leapt by 47 per cent to pounds 29.3m, helped by delayed deliveries from the previous year and several new commissions including the drama series McCallum. Programme sales contributed record operating profits of pounds 3.3m.

Caledonian Publishing, publishers of the Glasgow-based Herald and Evening Times, contributed pounds 12.6m to turnover and pounds 1.7m to operating profits in the final 12 weeks of the year. The integration of Caledonian is proceeding smoothly, cost reduction targets are being achieved and the opportunities for selling advertising across television and newspapers show great potential, according to Mr Macdonald.

Audience figures for Sky Scottish, the new satellite channel launched with BSkyB in November have been initially small but the financial impact on the group is minimal to date.

The outlook for 1997 is good in spite of the uncertainties created by the impending general election. Disposals leave Scottish Television with pounds 14m of net cash and make it well placed to fund future expansion. The shares rose 7.5p to 637.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us