Profit after tax up 28% at British free-to-air network

LONDON — Adam Crozier, chief executive of the U.K.’s leading commercial channel ITV, has said the company will not be among the bidders for rival free-to-air network Channel 5.

First round bidding for Richard Desmond’s Channel 5 starts Thursday, with BSkyB and Discovery mulling a joint bid, according to the Financial Times.

ITV revenues rose 9% in 2013 to £2.39 billion ($3.99 billion), the company reported Wednesday. The growth was driven by a 2% rise in advertising revenues and a 20% rise at the company’s production arm. Non-advertising revenues climbed 17%.

Profit after tax was up 28% to £330 million ($551 million).

The results failed to impress investors and ITV stock dropped 3% to 199.9 pence ($3.34) by midday in London. However, the stock is up 72% on a year ago.

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