ITV ad sales down but forecasts pick up in market

City A.M. Reporter
ITV reported a six per cent drop in second-quarter national advertising revenue and saw the decline continuing as it remained cautious about the TV ad market and the economy.

The company, which is one year into a five-year transformation plan under new management, reported a four per cent increase in total external revenue to £1.03bn for the first half of the year.

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) and before exceptional items rose to £240m, a 45 per cent increase from the year-ago period when it had costs associated with the World Cup in South Africa.

ITV announced an interim dividend of 0.4 pence per share.

Its shares fell 1.3 percent to 67.1 pence in early trading.

Under Chief Executive Adam Crozier, who took up his post last year, ITV plans to reduce its dependence on volatile advertising markets by increasing pay-TV services and reinvesting in programming to sell internationally and online.

The broadcaster, whose top programmes include talent show the X Factor and long-running soap Coronation Street, increased its audience share (share of commercial impacts) by one per cent to 40 per cent.

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