ITV Revenue up 11 Pct for First Nine Months of 2010

Revenue up but CEO Remains Cautious on 2011

LONDON – It has been the poster boy for recession-hit old media giant hit here, and  Britain’s biggest commercial player ITV on Tuesday announced group revenues up 11% to £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) for the nine months to September 30th, on the back of an advertising market recovery and big popular TV hits like period drama Downton Abbey and smash hit The X Factor.

But ITV chief executive Adam Crozier counseled that the advertising outlook in 2011 remained “uncertain” and said “we continue to plan on a cautious basis.” In any case the comparisons are against 2008/2009, where ITV had its worst year in recent memory.

ITV’s third-quarter television advertising revenues for the year to date are up 16% and it said they were currently up 10% in Q4, which ends at the end of December.

However, there was a low not from the production division ITV Studios – which makes in-house programming for as well as for other broadcasters, which reported external revenues down 10% to £205 million.

ITV said the division was in the process of creative renewal. Former Channel 4 director of programming Kevin Lygo was hired to transform the division earlier this year.

“The television advertising market has continued to recover strongly. However this does not disguise the significant challenges ITV faces,” said Crozier.