An interim statement from ITV reveals revenues up 11 per cent in Q1 to £500 million (€569m) driven by the strong advertising market with its take up 12 per cent, ahead of the market growth of 10 per cent.
Viewing figures were also up, 3 per cent on ITV 1 and 11 per cent across the digital channels. Adam Crozier, ITV plc Chief Executive, said: “The continuing volatility in the TV advertising market underlines the need for us to keep firmly focussed on our five year Transformation Plan. While we are still in the early stages, the foundations are now being put in place for a more balanced, creatively dynamic and robust business.
“We have had a positive start to the year, outperforming the TV advertising market in Q1 with advertising revenues up by 12 per cent. We expected that the ad market in Q2 would be difficult given the very tough comparators and the continued economic uncertainty and – while this has proved to be the case – we still expect to see an increase in ad revenues for the first half of the year. As we anticipated, tough ITV1 World Cup comparators in June mean we may slightly underperform the market in the first half. While we expect to outperform the market across the whole of the year, we remain cautious about the economic outlook.
“The focus on onscreen performance has led to an increase of 3 per cent in ITV1 share of viewing, ITV’s digital channels increased by 11 per cent and ITV Family is up by 4 per cent so far this year.
“We continued to develop our multiplatform strategy – online performance and distribution improved, with long form video views up 67 per cent to 45 million and total video views rising by 45 per cent to around 72 million. We’ve been investing in making ITV Player more robust and easier to use, and we’re making it available on a wide range of mobiles and tablets starting with Android smartphones within the next few weeks and on the iPhone in Q3.”
The ITV Player has been widely criticised as ‘clunky’ and frequently down. Former Global Radio digital director Robin Pembrooke now at ITV as digital director, has been trying to sort out ITV’s online strategy.