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TYNE TEES POSTS 40% PROFIT RISE

LONDON — Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television, the ITV network station for northwest England, has posted a strong 40% rise in pre-tax profits to £30.2 million ($48.3 million) for the year ending Dec. 31, 1996.

Sales, however, increased only marginally, to $433 million from $419 million in 1995. The company cited ”strin-gent cost controls combined with strong program output” as the reasons for the positive results.

Yorkshire produces some of ITV and Channel 4’s top-ranking shows, such as the dramas ”Touch of Frost” and ”Heartbeat,” as well as the gameshow ”Countdown.” Although no figures were given, the company disclosed its programming revenues were up 9% in 1996.

Yorkshire is one of the two remaining small independent ITV companies. The other is HTV, the ITV station for Wales and west England.

It is speculated that Yorkshire is poised to be taken over by ITV giant Granada Television, which already owns a minority stake in the company.

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