ITV cuts extra 40m in costs

ITV SAID yesterday it will impose an additional &pound;40m in cost savings in 2010, as it forecast that advertising revenue would fall by 16 per cent in the first half of the year.<br /><br />The struggling broadcaster said that it was making good progress towards its original target of cutting costs by &pound;155m this year, but that it has increased its 2010 target to &pound;215m.<br /><br />ITV, which held its annual general meeting yesterday, said sales had fallen 13.6 per cent to &pound;425m, and advertising revenues over the period dropped by 15 per cent &ndash; though it expects further deterioration over the coming months.<br /><br />&ldquo;The television advertising market remains weak. However, ITV continues to outperform the market,&rdquo; said executive chairman Michael Grade, who will step down from day-to-day duties by the end of the year.<br /><br />However, ITV&rsquo;s audience share remained stable at 23.4 per cent.<br /><br />The company confirmed it had &pound;108m of covenant-free bond financing and loans, including a &pound;50m loan &ndash; which may be extended by the lender to a total of &pound;200m &ndash; and &pound;58m in bonds.<br /><br />The commercial broadcaster&rsquo;s stock closed down 1.5p at 31p.