SHARES in Carlton Communications rose nearly 13 per cent even though the company unveiled virtually unchanged profits at pounds 211.9m. Growth in nearly all divisions was offset by investment in the new digital TV market, estimated to be worth $3.2bn (pounds 1.92bn) a year by 2005. Carlton spent pounds 27.9m to develop ONdigital, with Granada Group.
"Digital will have a fairly tough start," said Anthony de Larrinaga, an analyst at WestLB Panmure. "But it has good long-term potential."
The company is eager to boost its broadcast rights for films, sport and TV programmes and is interested in buying PolyGram's TV programme library.