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ITV profits up, audiences down

ITV reported a 25 per cent increase in pre-tax profits, despite a 4 per cent drop in audience numbers in the first half of this year.

The commercial broadcaster said pre-tax profits rose 25 per cent to £391 million (€552.3m) in the first half of the year, adjusted for amortisation and acquisition costs. On a statutory basis the figure was £327 million, up 31 per cent.  ITV increased total revenues across its business by 11 per cent year on year to £1.36 billion.  ITV’s total share of viewing fell to 21.1 per cent from 22.2 per cent in the first half of last year, with the decline on the main ITV channel of most concern, down to 14.8 per cent from 15.8 per cent last year, a fall of 7 per cent and widely reported to be its lowest share on record.Commenting on the results, Adam Crozier, ITV Chief Executive, said: “ITV made further strong progress in the first half of the year as we continued to grow and rebalance the company creatively and commercially. All parts of the business performed well with external revenue up 11 per cent to £1.36 billion and we delivered another period of double digit profit growth up 24 per cent to £400 million.”

“We continue to grow non advertising revenue with Online, Pay & Interactive revenue up 27 per cent and ITV Studios revenue up 23 per cent, driven by organic growth and through our acquired businesses.”“More than half of ITV Studios revenue now comes from outside the UK and we further reinforced our position as a leading international producer with the acquisition of Talpa Media. We have also continued to strengthen our UK studios business with the acquisitions of Mammoth Screen and Twofour Group.”
“Our Broadcast & Online business remains strong with profit up 26 per cent to £315 million and revenue up 6 per cent to £1.04 billion, helped by 5 per cent growth in advertising revenue and the launch of our pay channel ITV Encore.”“ITV Family share of viewing was down 4 per cent per cent in H1 and improving SOV remains a key focus for the year. As previously stated we expect to see improvements in H2 when we have exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup as well as a strong slate of high quality drama including Jekyll & Hyde, Unforgotten and The Trials of Jimmy Rose.”“Looking ahead to 2016 we have now secured the joint rights to Six Nations Rugby to add to our strong schedule of sport, drama and entertainment including the European Football Championships, Beowulf, Britain’s Got Talent and Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy and American Dad. Our outlook for the remainder of this year is unchanged and we expect to deliver another strong performance in 2015.”

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