Thursday 16 August 2018

ITV sees ad revenues ahead of market view, to cut costs

Les Dennis is leaving Coronation Street
Les Dennis is leaving Coronation Street

ITV said it expected its key net advertising revenue to slip around 1 percent in the first nine months of the year, ahead of analyst expectations, as the British broadcaster coped better than other media with the volatility hitting ad markets.

Newspapers in Britain have warned of a slump in advertising in recent months, as companies held off from spending around the EU referendum vote, and ITV had trimmed its own forecast in May.

But the group, which broadcasts such shows as "Coronation Street" and "Britain's Got Talent", met first-half forecasts with flat net ad revenue in the first half and said it would slip around 1 percent in the first nine months to the end of September.

That was better than expected, with most analysts predicting a fall of more than 5 percent in the third quarter due to a tough comparison with last year when ITV broadcast the rugby world cup.

Despite the robust performance ITV said last months' vote to leave the EU had resulted in a backdrop of wider economic uncertainty and as a result it would target cost cuts of 25 million pounds ($33 million) for 2017.

"Our strategy of rebalancing and strengthening ITV and building a global production business of scale continues to deliver with double-digit revenue and adjusted EBITA growth in the first half of the year," Chief Executive Adam Crozier said.

ITV reported first-half adjusted EBITA up 10 percent to 438 million pounds.

"We have a strong balance sheet and the capacity to continue to invest behind our strategy, while at the same time delivering returns to our shareholders," ITV said.


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