ITV says Irish takeover will strengthen its business
ITV has said its planned acquisition of UTV's television assets, which includes fledgling station UTV Ireland, will help to "strengthen its broadcast business".
In a trading update published yesterday the company also said the Rugby World Cup, to which it owned exclusive rights, helped its viewership grow in the second half of the year.
Revenues rose 13pc to just over £2bn (€2.8bn) in the nine months to the end of September, up from £1.8bn in 2014 as ITV claimed "all parts" of the business were performing well.
Adam Crozier, ITV's chief executive, said the broadcaster's share of TV viewers had improved in the second half "driven by strong performances in daytime [shows], soaps and the Rugby World Cup".
TV ad revenue grew by 8pc during the quarter compared to a full-year expectation of 5pc. The main ITV channel had a 14.9pc share of viewing in the first nine months of the year.
He added: "We're also strengthening our broadcast business with the proposed acquisition of the television assets of UTV."
Last month, ITV announced it agreed to buy UTV Media's television assets including UTV Ireland in a £100m deal.
Yesterday ITV said that deal, which requires UTV shareholder backing, "is unlikely" to close before the first quarter of 2016.
ITV shares were up over 1pc to almost 260 pence yesterday, following its latest results.