Shares in ITV fell this morning after it warned this summer's absence of sport will dent revenues.
Total external revenue fell three per cent to £731m in the three months to the end of March, ITV said, with broadcast and online revenues falling six per cent to £507m. However, that was offset slightly by a seven per cent rise in revenues from its studios arm, which hit £343m.
Net advertising revenue (NAR) fell nine per cent to £393m, while non-advertising revenue rose seven per cent to £457m. Adam Crozier, the broadcaster's soon-to-depart chief executive, warned advertising revenue wil be down between eight and nine per cent.
Shares fell 1.9 per cent to 197p in early trading.
Why it's interesting
Crozier's resignation last week, which prompted lots of speculation over a potential takeover, may have been timely: not only is the company suffering along with most of the media world thanks to falling ad revenue, but it's also grappling with a potential shareholder revolt.
Yesterday Pirc, the shareholder advisory group, recommended investors vote down "several" motions at ITV's annual general meeting today, including Crozier's remuneration, which it called "excessive", and the re-appointment of chairman Peter Bazalgette.
Last year ITV said it was planning to ease away from a reliance on spot advertising and increase new revenue streams, and the success of its studios division, which makes shows such as Victoria, Love Island and I'm a Celebrity, suggests that is going as planned. It is also expanding its reach with a raft of acquisitions, the latest being a stake in Line of Duty producer World Productions.
Still, this summer's dearth of big sporting events is going to count against it in the short term, Crozier warned: "We expect May to be down eight per cent and June to be down 15 per cent to 20 per cent against the tough comparator of the Euros last year," he said
What ITV said
ITV's overall performance and the shape of the UK advertising market are very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged.
The first half performance will be impacted by the weighting of the programme budget to the first six months and the phasing of Studios deliveries, most significantly the non-recurring benefit of The Voice of China in 2016.
A difficult year for ITV as revenues dip and its executive pay comes under scrutiny.