UK commercial broadcaster ITV has reported its H1 results, with a decline in advertising revenue blamed on “ongoing economic and political uncertainty”.
Advertising revenue fell 8 per cent to £769 million (€862m) in the first six months of the year. However, that fall was offset by growth at ITV studios, which makes popular shows such as The Voice and Poldark. The broadcaster’s sales rose by 5 per cent.
Peter Bazalgette, ITV Executive Chairman, commented: “ITV’s performance in the first six months of the year is very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged. Total external revenue was down 3 per cent with the decline in NAR partly offset by continued good growth in non-advertising revenues, which is a clear indication that our strategy of rebalancing the business is working. We are confident in the underlying strength of the business as we continue to invest both organically and through acquisitions.”
“ITV Studios total revenues grew 7 per cent to £697 million including currency benefit. ITV Studios adjusted EBITA was down 9 per cent at £110 million. This was impacted by our ongoing investment in our US scripted business and the fact that the prior year includes the full benefit of the four year licence deal for The Voice of China. We have a very strong pipeline of new and returning drama and formats and we are building momentum in our US scripted business. We continue to grow our global family of production companies and in H1 we further strengthened our international drama and format business with the acquisition of Line of Duty producer World Productions in the UK, Tetra Media Studio in France and Elk Production in Sweden.”
“The Broadcast business remains robust despite the 8 per cent decline in NAR caused by ongoing economic and political uncertainty with Broadcast & Online adjusted EBITA down 8 per cent at £293 million. On-screen we are performing well. To the end of May our ITV Family share of viewing grew although we ended the first half flat as June last year included the benefit of the Euros. ITV continues to deliver the mass audiences demanded by advertisers as well as delivering the key target demographics. ITV is the only channel to deliver a commercial audience over five million and Love Island demonstrates that young viewers engage in great TV content.”
“Online, Pay & Interactive grew revenues by 5 per cent to £112m with double digit growth across Online and Pay. Online viewing was again up strongly at 34 per cent. We continue to grow our digital capabilities and invest in the ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, BritBox US, our SVoD joint venture with the BBC and Cirkus, our SVoD proposition in the Nordics and Germany. ”
“Looking ahead our guidance for 2017 remains unchanged. ITV Studios has already secured 85 per cent of expected full year revenues, over £100 million more than this time last year and is firmly on track to deliver good organic revenue growth. ITV Studios adjusted EBITA will be broadly flat year on year impacted by continued investment and the timing of programme deliveries. We anticipate further good growth in Online, Pay & Interactive driven by VoD and Pay. We expect ITV Family NAR in Q3 to be down around 4 per cent, again impacted by wider economic uncertainty and over the full year we expect to outperform the TV advertising market.”
“We see opportunities to continue to invest in growing an even stronger and more resilient business. The strength of our balance sheet and healthy cashflows allow us to do so while delivering sustainable returns to our shareholders.”
“The Board has declared an interim dividend of 2.52p, an increase of 5 per cent, reflecting our confidence in the underlying strength of the business. “We are delighted that Carolyn McCall will be joining ITV as Chief Executive. Carolyn brings a strong track record in media, experience of an international operation, clear strategic acumen and a reputation for delivering value to shareholders. We look forward to her arrival on 8 January 2018.”