Brit web finances down for year

LONDON — Channel 4 failed to make a profit in 2001 for the first time in just under a decade, after its advertising revenue fell by £38 million ($54 million).

The web, which is state-owned but commercially funded, has not yet published its 2001 figures, but managing director David Scott revealed the state of its bottom line Monday to a parliamentary committee.

Scott said Channel 4 will not pay corporation tax in its 2001 accounts because “there was no profit.” In 2000, the web reported an operating profit of $48.3 million on sales of $1.02 billion, and paid $17.6 million in tax.

Advertising revenues fell 6% last year to $858 million. Digital channels E4 and FilmFour are still running at a substantial loss, while film production-distribution company FilmFour has been in the red for two years.

The web already has said that it will cut its program budget by 2% to 3% this year.

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