ITV spreads its wings as studios make up for advertising drag

PROFITS at ITV were hit by slowing advertising revenues in the first half of the year, but shares in the broadcaster jumped as it reported growth elsewhere in the business.

A 34 per cent rise in turnover at the company’s production arm ITV Studios, thanks to hit shows including Titanic, drove an 11 per cent sales increase to £1.28bn despite the group describing advertising revenue as “flat”.

Boosts to other sources of income, including licensing and online ad sales, meant non-advertising revenue accounted for 40 per cent of ITV’s turnover.

Shares in ITV jumped by more than 10 per cent yesterday with pre-tax profits better than forecast, despite the drop from £181m to £167m.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said he expects the TV advertising market to stay “relatively flat” although ITV had outperformed the sector as a whole thanks to viewing figures during Euro 2012.

“Over the full year we expect ITV Studios revenues to grow at a similar rate to 2011 and to grow the ITV Studios share of ITV1 output,” Crozier said.