ITV "outperforming" advertising market

ITV said it expected to outperform the wider television advertising market in 2011 after reporting better than expected trading in the third quarter.

The broadcaster, home to such shows as the "X Factor" and "Coronation Street," said on Monday net advertising revenues in the three months through September were up one per cent, compared with its previous forecast for ad revenues to be slightly down.

Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting net ad revenues for the group of channels to be flat.

The group, which has been boosted by a better performance on screen and from its studios division, said that its strong focus on cash and costs had resulted in net debt falling to £43m, from £188m at the start of the year.

Capital expenditure is forecast to be around £50m in 2011 compared with an earlier guidance of £80m.

It expects to be net cash positive at the year end.

However the group said it remained cautious for the outlook of 2012, with tough comparatives expected in the first quarter, which analysts had expected due to the poor visibility.

"Despite difficult economic and market conditions our revenues are up four per cent to 1.52 billion pounds in the first nine months of the year," Chief Executive Adam Crozier said.

"We are on track to be net cash positive at year end. This is a substantial improvement given that our net debt stood at £612m at the beginning of 2010."