U.K. Broadcaster ITV Posts 3 Percent Ad Revenue Gain for First Half
LONDON - U.K. broadcaster ITV on Thursday reported improved results for the first half of the year as its ITV Studios once again provided a big boost.
The TV company also said it has continued to outperform the overall U.K. TV advertising market despite challenges in the current quarter that will see an ad decline.
The company recorded a 15 percent increase in adjusted profit before taxes to £235 million ($364 million). The figure fell 8 percent to £167 million ($259 million) when including the effects of a £275 million ($426 million) bond buyback.
Revenue rose 11 percent to £1.28 billion ($1.98 billion) as broadcasting and online revenue rose 4 percent. Advertising revenue for the ITV family rose 3 percent, ahead of the broader market's 2 percent improvement.
ITV Studios once again was a key growth driver as its revenue jumped 34 percent. Total non-advertising revenue increased 26 percent.
ITV CEO Adam Crozier said the latest financials were further validation of his team's focus on developing new revenue streams.
"The transformation plan continues to gain momentum," he said. "The £106 million ($164 million) increase in non-advertising revenues – from content, pay and online – was particularly significant and is further evidence that our strategy of rebalancing the business and growing new revenue streams is working."
About the continued gains at ITV Studios, he said: "Our investment in the creative pipeline is now clearly coming through in the financial results."
With analysts having wondered about recent ad trends, Crozier said: “As we anticipated, ITV family net advertising revenue was up 3 percent in the first half, outperforming the television advertising market. The underlying TV advertising market continues to be relatively flat and while we remain cautious about the outlook for the TV advertising market for the rest of 2012, we expect to outperform it for the year as a whole."
On an earnings conference call, Crozier also touted ITV's growing digital media reach. For example, about 400,000 people watched a soccer match between England and France during this summer's Euro 2012 tournament online via ITV.com, he said.
The CEO also hinted that ITV Studios could look for further acquisitions. On Thursday morning, it announced the acquisition of Norwegion production firm Mediacircus. Asked if ITV Studios could look for deals in the U.K., Crozier declined to specify regions for possible deals, but said the company will remain open to opportunities.