Forte buy boosts Granada

LONDON — Granada, the British media and leisure group, reported a 33% rise in pre-tax profits to £243 million ($389 million) for the six months to March, buoyed by its acquisition of the Forte hotel chain.

Granada is poised to expand its ITV empire by taking over Yorkshire Tyne Tees TV, to add to its existing two ITV stations Granada TV and LWT. Granada and YTT-TV confirmed Monday that they are negotiating a deal which values YTT-TV at nearly $1.28 billion.

Granada has launched Granada Entertainment USA in Los Angeles to spearhead the company’s push into the American market.

Granada’s media division improved its half-year profits by 13% to $143 million, with sales up 6% to $526 million. But the big leap was in hotels, with the Forte takeover quadrupling profits and more than doubling sales in that division.

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