ATV financial results: 1976


Lord Grade on Associated Television Corporation’s 1976 results

Associated Television Corporation

“The Company’s present position and prospects are both excellent”

Report illustration

  • The improvement in the Group profit before taxation to £6,626,000 [£42.4m in today’s money allowing for inflation – Ed] is attributable to the greatly improved results achieved by the Film Division and the economic recovery which has taken place within Independent Television. Earnings per ‘A’ Stock Unit were 7.56p [48.47p] and the total dividend is 4.3p [27.56p].
  • Strict internal economies were introduced at ATV Network in every field, except that of direct expenditure on programmes. These measures, combined with an intensive drive by the Network’s admirably-directed Sales Department and an upturn in the national expenditure on television advertising, succeeded in producing a profit of £2,409,000 [£15.4m].
  • Our most important recent development has been the formation of a new Anglo-American company, Associated General Films, which will serve to consolidate our position as a major force in the international film industry.
  • Profits from investment in a greatly expanded programme of film production – £1,139,000 [£7.3m] against £337,000 [£2.2m] – have exceeded our expectations and I can confirm that really substantial earnings will accrue this year.
  • Music Publishing continues to be a major contributor to earnings and Pye Records finished the year in spectacular style by winning the Eurovision song contest.
  • In a year generally regarded as a difficult one for the theatre, Stoll-Moss has succeeded in coming forward with improved results.
  • Our property company now owns some 1.8 million sq. ft. of lettable space and we have let twenty-four of the twenty-seven floors in the ATV tower block in Birmingham.
  • Our policy of diversification has once more fully justified itself.

Copies of the Report and Accounts for the year to 28 March 1976 are available from the Secretary, Associated Television Corporation Limited, ATV House, 17 Great Cumberland Place, London W1A 1AG.

This illustration depicts some of ATV Corporation’s interests. In addition to the seven day-a-week television franchise for the Midlands, group activities include film making, theatres, record, tape and music publishing companies, and the manufacture and supply of telephone answering equipment. The Group’s prestige tower block in Birmingham – the ATV Centre – is also shown.


Transdiffusion analysis

Lew Grade is distracted. There’s a general feeling that he’s no longer really interested in ATV Network, the corporation’s ITV franchise. Instead, just as previous chairmen had worried would happen, he starting to see it simply as a pot of cash that he can dip into in order to fund his latest plan: becoming a movie mogul.

It’s working. The film-making business, grouped under the ITC banner, requires a lot of cash up front to fund. But when it works, it really works, raking in a fortune. But it only takes one expensive flop to ruin a movie studio, which can’t repeat and/or cancel and write-off a dud in the way a television company with a poorly performing series can. As long as ITC’s cheap-n-cheerful movies continue to make money, mostly by being sold to the US networks rather than at the cinema, and particularly continue to be cheap, then all will be well.


Group Results at a Glance £’000 £’000 £m + inflation £m + inflation
Year to 28 March 1976 1975 1976 1975
Turnover 69,215 54,851 443,668 351,595
Profit before Taxation 6,626 7,268 42,473 46,588
Taxation 3,418 3,616 21,909 23,179
Profit after Taxation 3,208 2,736 20,563 17,538
Shareholders’ Funds 38,962 35,022 249,746 224,491
Profit Retained 1,151 1,462 7,378 9,371
Earnings per Share 7.56p 6.5p 48.46p 41.67p
Dividend per ‘A’ Ordinary Unit 4.3p 3.9p 27.56p 25.00p

About the author

As a public company with shareholders, ATV was required to publish a detailed Annual Report at the end of each financial year. It was common to also publish a Chairman's Statement, summing up the report in more readable language.

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