SMG to sell Primesight and Pearl & Dean

SMG has put its cinema advertising business Pearl & Dean and outdoor division Primesight up for sale, describing them as "no longer core to the group".

Pearl & Dean accounts for 25% of cinema advertising revenue in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Primesight owns 13,500 six-sheet outdoor panels in the UK and 141 large-format backlight panels, based predominantly in the London area.
SMG has recently been under shareholder pressure to dispose of the companies. There have been reports of a plan by former Channel 4 commercial director Rob Woodward, backed by a number of shareholders, to take over SMG. UTV has also made a merger approach for SMG, whose other major assets are SMG and Virgin Radio.
In a trading statement today, SMG reported a 19% pre-tax profit hike and a fall in turnover of 7% for the six months to 30 June.
Chris Masters, SMG's chairman, said: "Having reviewed the group's businesses, the board believes that, while Pearl & Dean and Primesight are excellent advertising businesses, they are no longer core to the group."
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