Granada chops 430 employees as loss continues to mount

Granada is to axe another 430 jobs in its latest attempt to offset

the effects of the downturn in revenue across ITV.



News of the redundancies, which takes the toll of job losses up to 1,000

for the year, came as Granada announced a full-year loss of £186

million.



Job cuts will be made from all divisions of the business and follow a

gradual redundancy programme which has already seen the loss of 650 jobs

since Granada took over Meridian, Anglia and HTV last autumn.



The broadcaster's turnover for the year to September 2001 fell to £1.48 billion compared with £1.59 billion last year. Its profits

before digital investment and exceptional items fell from £294

million to £210 million.



Granada said that ITV Digital will implement a plan to cut costs by

£145 million next year. Charles Allen, the chairman of Granada,

admitted the service has already cost its owners about £900

million, but he added: "The alternative being explored would reduce the

likely funding requirement of the existing shareholders."



Granada and Carlton are believed to be close to reaching an agreement

with BSkyB over carriage of their ITV Sport channel, according to

Granada's group finance director, Henry Staunton. He said a deal should

be struck in the new year.



Graham Duff, the former chief executive of Zenith UK who is now the

chief executive at Granada Enterprises, has an increasingly tough job on

his hands. Staunton revealed that although the decline in advertising

has slowed since October, there is "no improvement in visibility going

forward".