Channel 4 reports £40m loss

Channel 4 group has reported a six-fold increase in losses at its main network to more than £40 million (€49m) in 2011, as ad revenues fell by almost 20 per cent.

Group revenues rose 6.2 per cent year on year to £941 million in 2011, thanks to the TV ad sales contract Channel 4 has with pay-TV operator UKTV, but pre-tax profits fell from £54 million to £44m. Total operating profits at Channel 4 fell 18.6 per cent from £49.3 million to £40.1 million, according to Channel 4’s 2011 annual report.

Channel 4’s main network had a tough year with revenues dipping by 19.5 per cent year on year to £62 million as operating losses increased from £7.7 million m in 2010 to £42.3 million.

Channel 4 said the performance of its main nework, which reported its lowest audience share in at least a decade in 2011 at 6.8 per cent, was partially mitigated by increased profits at its future media business and digital channels including E4, Film4 and More4.

The broadcaster said the share of audience of its portfolio of channels hit 11.6 per cent, the highest since 2008 when it was 11.8 per cent.

“In our first year without Big Brother we grew portfolio share and stemmed decline on the main channel,” said David Abraham, the chief executive of Channel 4. “We remain the commercial leader in video on demand and Film 4 is in rude health; delivering a home-grown creative and commercial hit in the form of The Inbetweeners film. Building on these strong foundations we will continue to engage our audiences with challenging and stimulating content in 2012, investing more money with a wider range of producers.”

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