Yorkshire posts jump in profits

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television, the ITV contractor for the northeast of England, Sept. 12 reported a big jump in profits and revealed that it hopes to produce for the American market.

The company’s interim figures for the six months to June 30 showed profits surging from £300,00 ($480,000) to £7.4 million ($11.8 million) helped by cost-cutting, a 12% hike in ad revenue and stronger program sales. Revenue increased from $184.5 million to $207.5 million.

There was speculation in the city that further relaxation of U.K. media ownership rules might pave the way for a takeover of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees by either of its two largest shareholders, Granada or MAI, the two groups which along with Carlton now dominate the ITV network.

The company recently further cemented its relationship with Granada with the merger of program sales houses Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Intl. and Granada LWT Intl. to form BRITE (British Independent Television Enterprises).

Announcing the results, YTTT chairman and CEO Ward Thomas said the formation of BRITE had resulted in considerable savings for the company.

Thomas said he was considering investing in the provision of new digital services, but added that it would be several years before digital TV became a significant element in U.K. broadcasting.

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