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Carlton media group posts big gains

Carlton Communications, the broadcasting and media services group, posted a 30% rise in pre-tax profits to £247 million ($379 million) for the year to September.

That performance was in line with analysts’ expectations, and reflected strong growth in the company’s broadcasting business, which principally includes the two largest ITV stations, Carlton TV and Central TV.

Technicolor, Carlton’s U.S. film processing and video duplication subsid, also had a healthy year thanks to the expansion of the sell-through market and the growing number of 2,000-print theatrical releases in the U.S.

Carlton’s overall sales grew 12% to $2.43 billion. Sales in broadcast TV grew 35% to $1.03 billion, although the growth was exaggerated by the fact that this was the first year when Central’s results were included for the full period. Carlton took over Central early in 1994.

Two years ago, broadcast TV accounted for just 7% of Carlton’s profits. Now that figure is 49%, with TV profits reaching $189 million. Carlton earns 32% of the ITV network’s advertising revenues, and supplies 27% of its programming. It is the U.K.’s largest commercial broadcaster.

Video production & distribution increased sales by 4% to $728 million, although profits dipped by 9% to $93 million.

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