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ITV to return £250m to shareholders via special dividend

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Downton Abbey is reported to be drawing to a close

Downton Abbey is reported to be drawing to a close

Downton Abbey is reported to be drawing to a close

Broadcaster ITV plans to return £250m to shareholders via a special dividend after posting a better-than-expected 23pc rise in 2014 pretax profit and predicting a strong first quarter.

The home of Downton Abbey said it had started 2015 well, with net advertising revenue now forecast to be up 11pc in the first quarter, and up 4-7pc in April. That compares to the 6pc net advertising growth it recorded in 2014.

Full-year pretax profit was up 23pc to £712m, compared with a forecast of £681m according to Thomson Reuters data.

Reuters