ITV Profits Double in First Half of 2011

3:41 AM PST 07/27/2011 by Mimi Turner
Greg Gayne/FOX

But shares were down 1% as CEO Adam Crozier offers cautious economic outlook.

LONDON - Shares in Britain's biggest commercial broadcaster ITV were marked down marginally Wednesday despite announcing a near-doubling of profit for the first half of the year, as investors reacted to a cautious economic outlook from chief executive Adam Crozier by sending shares down 1 percent to 67 pence.

The news came as ITV announced a reshuffling of its senior management, promoting ITV Studios America president and CEO Paul Buccieri to the newly created post of managing director, ITV Studios International.

Reporting to ITV Studios managing director Kevin Lygo, Buccieri will develop and oversee the production business's international strategy, with responsibility for leading growth through international production and exploitation of ITV Studios’ brands. He will continue to have overall responsibility for ITV Studios America, where he has overseen a production slate that includes Hell's Kitchen, Nanny 911 and Kitchen Nightmares in recent years.

ITV, which airs some of the U.K.'s biggest programs including X-Factor, Britain's Got Talent and Downton Abbey, said net profits for the first half of the year were up to £181 million ($296.5 million) from £97 million at the same stage last year on revenues marginally up from £987 million to £1.03 billion ($1.69 billion). Underlying profit rose 45 percent to £240 million ($393.2 million).

But a weak economic outlook has prompted ITV to revise downward its July and August and revenues by 2 percent and 4 percent respectively, compared to 2010 figures, which were boosted by Word Cup soccer.

In a statement Crozier said that ITV was "encouraged" by ITV's progress to date "and by the prospects for ITV in the medium to long term, although we remain cautious about both the TV advertising market and the economy."

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