Saturday 3 December 2016

ITV raises sales despite drop in audience share

Aidan Gregory

Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30

Allen Leech as Tom Branson, Tom Cullen as Gillingham and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in the hit TV series ‘Downton Abbey’
Allen Leech as Tom Branson, Tom Cullen as Gillingham and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in the hit TV series ‘Downton Abbey’

ITV, broadcaster of hit shows 'Downton Abbey' and 'Coronation Street', has increased first-half sales by 11pc even as it registered a drop in audience share.

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External revenue - excluding sales to customers within the business - rose to £1.36bn (€1.92bn) in the period, slightly ahead of analyst expectations of £1.34bn. Adjusted earnings per share rose 26pc to 7.7 pence, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Advertising revenue increased 5pc to £838m, supported by a strong performance at its programme-making and online units, which grew by 23pc and 27pc respectively.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said in the statement that exclusive rights to broadcast matches in the Rugby World Cup and dramas such as 'Jekyll & Hyde' and 'The Trials of Jimmy Rose' will improve audience numbers in the second-half of the year.

So-called "share of viewing" dropped 4pc in the first six months.

The shares were 2.6pc higher at 270.6 pence at 13:20pm in London yesterday. They've risen almost a third over the past year. The programme-making business, ITV Studios, has been boosted by recent acquisitions including Talpa Media, maker of 'The Voice' reality singing show, and Mammoth Screen, which produces hit drama 'Poldark', inset. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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