GMTV announces £6m pre-tax profit increase

LONDON - GMTV's pre-tax profit rose by £6m in 2007, as a result of including revenue from its controversial phone competitions.

GMTV: £6m pre-tax profit in 2007
GMTV: £6m pre-tax profit in 2007

Figures for the calendar year 2007 show that GMTV included £12.3m of revenue from phone competitions. Revenue, excluding exceptional turnover, was £68.8m down 8% year on year.

The company said the inclusion of the phone revenue was the "principal factor" operating profits rose to £21.736m, compared with £15.683m in 2006.

Industry regulator Ofcom found that between May 2003 and April 2007, GMTV took money from 25 million callers who entered competitions after winners had already been chosen.

GMTV's behaviour was described as "gross negligence" and it was fined £2m by the regulator, which was reflected in the 2006 results. As a result of the scandal, the income from the quizzes was deferred until 2007.

Former managing director Paul Corley was given a £327,000 pay-off after leaving the company following the scandal as "compensation for loss of office", according to the 2007 accounts.

GMTV paid £5.6m in costs in relation to the scandal and its remedies. The television company held 250 free £10,000 prize draws for entrants possibly affected by the scandal and donated £250,000 to charity Childline.

Though it is offering affected viewers a refund, it has refused to say how many have taken up the offer.

Andy Burnham, secretary of state for culture, media and sport said television companies should donate any unclaimed phone revenue to charity.

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