Thursday 22 August 2019

ITV revenues and earnings tumble despite Love Island boost

Tommy and Molly Mae on Love Island. PIC: ITV
Tommy and Molly Mae on Love Island. PIC: ITV Business Desk

ITV has reported a fall in revenues and earnings for the past six months, despite hailing a strong performance by Love Island.

The company said earnings slumped on the back of sliding advertising revenue and major investment.

The broadcaster saw advertising revenues fall by 5pc for the six months to June, marking a slight improvement on forecasts.

Total revenues also fell by 5pc to £1.75bn, although Love Island helped to boost revenues towards the end of the period.

ITV's flagship reality TV programme, which opened to its highest ever viewing figures last month, helped drive the broadcaster to an 18pc increase in online revenues after delivering average viewing figures of 4.2 million.

It said earnings before tax and interest fell by 16pc to £310m over the half-year, as it was also weighed down by investment on its growth strategy, including money pumped into its new Britbox streaming service.

ITV said it expects the launch of Britbox in the fourth quarter to help strengthen its performance, alongside a "strong pipeline" of shows including a new series of 'I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!'.

The company is expected to save an additional £5m to its original target of between £35m and £40m for the full year, it said.

Total viewing figures across its TV channels and on-demand service fell 5pc year-on-year due to a "tough" comparative against the world cup last year.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, said: "ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year.

"The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.

"We are making good progress in each area of our strategy as we become an increasingly digital entertainment company."

PA Media

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