TV arm bright spot in HTV loss

HTV Group, the Welsh ITV station that also owns film distributor First Independent, reported a pre-tax loss of T2.1 million ($ 3.1 million) for 1992.

But the TV division managed an operating profit of T6.1 million ($ 9 million) , up 35% over the previous year.

This was achieved despite a 13% drop in sales to T113.3 million ($ 167.7 million).

First Independent, whose release slate last year included “City Slickers” and “The Lawnmower Man,” contributed profits of just T305,000 ($ 451,400), compared with T1.8 million ($ 2.7 million) in 1991.

The company’s revenues dipped 20% to T13.3 million ($ 19.7 million).

HTV is still paying for its disastrous foray into the fine art business in the 1980s, and is having difficulty finding buyers for its loss-making fine art division.

But its ITV broadcasting business is also struggling, with declining advertising revenues and its production of network programming at a virtual standstill.

Financially, HTV is probably the weakest of all the ITV stations, and will be a prime candidate for takeover when bids are permitted from next year.

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