ITV, the UK’s dominant FTA commercial broadcaster, has reported that total advertising sales fell 5 per cent to £849 million (948.9m). In May, ITV had forecast a 6 per cent drop for the first half, so they could argue that the figure is slightly better than expected.
Overall, total external revenue fell 7 per cent to £1.48 billion in the six-month period – despite strong growth in online revenues which surged 18 per cent. ITV Studios revenue was down 6 per cent year-on-year to £758 million.
Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive, said: “ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year. Online revenues grew strongly up 18 per cent despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue.”
“The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.”
“We are making good progress in each area of our strategy as we become an increasingly digital entertainment company. BritBox is set to launch in Q4, as is our new programmatic addressable advertising platform, and we are accelerating our digital and data capabilities.”
“ITV Studios has a solid pipeline of new and returning shows this year – from I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to World on Fire to Snowpiercer – and is firmly on track to deliver our full year guidance. We continue to deliver strongly on our cost savings where we are targeting, in addition to the original £35 million to £40 million, a further £5 million this year and £15 million between 2020 to 2022, totalling £55 million to £60 million over 2019 to 2022. We have a solid balance sheet which enables us to make the right decisions to build a robust and growing business and deliver returns to shareholders in line with our guidance,” she concluded.
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