ITV reports £286m profit

ITV has reported £286 million (€337.5m) of pre-tax profits for 2010 as advertising revenue has surged back. The equivalent figure was £25 million last year. Net advertising revenue rose to £1.5 billion, up from £1.29 billion a year earlier.

The company’s strong position – net debt will have more than halved to about £300 million, and more than £700 million in the bank. Speculation is it may now look for acquisitions particularly in production.

ITV’s online business is expected to report revenues of £20 million, 2 per cent of revenues, with management yet to announce a plan for the operation to achieve its target of substantially increasing digital revenues.

“Our outperformance of the advertising television market, together with the actions taken to reduce the group’s cost base and the focus on cash generation, have delivered substantial debt reduction and a sound financial platform for the challenges ahead,” said chief executive Adam Crozier.

He added that the company remained focused on its five-year transformation plan to reduce its reliance on advertising and ensure “a more balanced and robust business going forward”.

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