ITV has revealed a 16 per cent rise in half-year profits to £270 million, saying it expected to reverse a three per cent drop in net advertising revenues in the first half of the year with growth of 12 per cent in July and 20 per cent in August.
The UK commercial broadcaster is set for the jump in advertising revenues next month as it benefits from a marketing battle between BT and BSkyB ahead of the new football season.
ITV’s performance this summer is also being flattered by comparisons with last year, when the company had to contend with the BBC’s blanket coverage of the Olympics.
ITV Studios, its production unit, which was boosted in the period by £53 million spent on three acquisitions, increased its contribution by 11 per cent to £395 million. Total revenues were £1.3 billion, delivering a pre-tax profit of £179 million, up 11 per cent on 2012.
“We’re showing real momentum in our strategy of creating a robust international content business and in building substantial strength and scale in the US market, commented chief executive Adam Crozier.
ITV Online, Pay & Interactive again delivered strong revenue growth, up 19 per cent in the first half with the growth in new technology platforms and the rapid increase in VoD driving demand for quality content both free and pay.
In a statement, the company said: “Over the last few years we have invested to improve the quality of our online offering and the distribution of our content which is now available on 15 platforms including YouView. This has led to continued good growth in long form video requests which were up 17 per cent in the first half of 2013.”
“Mobile viewing and new platforms are driving the demand for VoD. There have now been over nine million downloads of the ITV Player app since it was launched. We have redeveloped our ITV Sports site and our award winning ITV News site.”
“We continue to explore and develop our pay services. On the ITV Player we have trialled further direct-to-consumer pay opportunities with episode premieres of programmes such as Scott & Bailey for ITV and Plebs for ITV2. We have also launched a pay proposition on iOS which is an ad free subscription model – the first broadcaster to do so. We renegotiated our Virgin deal to include HD versions of ITV2, 3 and 4 and the ability to deliver adverts in our catch up content in the future.”
“We are further deepening our relationship with our consumers and we now have more than two million registered users of ITV Player. We are also interacting further with our customers to drive value from our brands, both for ITV and for our advertisers, for example we had over one million downloads of the Britain’s Got Talent app and we continue to feature heavily on and communicate through social media.”