ITV achieved £1.51 billion (€1.75bn) revenue in the first nine months of 2011 as its ad revenue edged up 2 per cent against market trend, though it was only 1 per cent ahead of last year in Q3. Meanwhile, in production, ITV Studios revenue was up 9 per cent to £224 million on strong international sales. Net debt has been cut to £43 million and the company expects to be net cash positive by the end of the year.
The company remains cautious on outlook, particularly for the first part of 2012, but with the European football championships helping the mid year.
Adam Crozier, CEO, said: “Our relentless focus on delivering the Transformation Plan is now impacting positively on our results. Despite difficult economic and market conditions our revenues are up 4 per cent to £1,515 million in the first nine months of the year.
The continued management emphasis on cash generation and cost reduction has delivered further improvements to our financial position and we are on track to be net cash positive at year end. This is a substantial improvement given that our net debt stood at £612 million at the beginning of 2010.
The new ITV Studios management team is delivering ahead of expectations, fuelled by our continued investment in revitalising the creative pipeline, with particularly strong growth in our international business. So far this year ITVS has had 89 new commissions of which 40 are international including Prime Suspect which we have sold to 30 countries and Titanic, a major new drama for 2012 by Julian Fellowes, which has been sold to 57 countries.
Maximising audience share in Broadcast remains a key part of our strategy. Our on-screen performance has been strong with ITV Family share of viewing (SOV) year-to-date up 2 per cent year on year to 23.0 per cent. ITV1 SOV is broadly flat at 15.6 per cent and our digital channels have grown strongly with ITV2 SOV up 8 per cent year on year, and ITV3 and ITV4 both up 10 per cent. Online, long form video views are up by 62 per cent in the first nine months of the year.
We are still in the early stages of our five year Transformation Plan which we are on track to deliver, and we remain optimistic about ITV’s prospects in the medium to long term.”