ITV Stock Rises After Strong Financial Report

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LONDON - Shares of U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV rose sharply Thursday morning after the company reported better results for the first half of 2012.

The stock rose even though ITV said advertising declines over the summer are likely to extend to September.

As of 10:30am London time, the stock was up 6.8 percent at 76.25 pence ($1.18).

In a conference call tied to the company's latest financial report, ITV CEO Adam Crozier said that TV ad revenue could be down as much as 5 percent in September.

The broadcaster's July ad revenue declined 10 percent, and August is trending down around 11 percent as advertisers spend public broadcaster BBC.

The drops follow ad growth driven by the Queen's jubilee celebration and particularly the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.

"Share price response is likely to be tempered by expectations for September to be down 0 to 5%, in line with industry speculation," Jefferies analyst Will Smith had said before the stock market opened. "September is an important month, typically the third biggest of the year for TV advertising and a good indicator for holiday advertising."

He added: "While the full-year net advertising revenue forecast implies a modest deceleration in the second half, we see risks to the downside for TV net advertising revenue but offset by better studios sales."

ITV management said ad revenue would be flat across the first nine months of the year. It reiterated its prediction that the company would outperform a roughly flat ad market for the full year.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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