ITV 2019 “well ahead” but forecasts big virus hit

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ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, has reported that full year total external revenue for 2019 was up 3 per cent at £3.3 billion (€3.8bn).

Total advertising revenue was down 1.5 per cent – but better than previously guided. Total advertising revenue is forecast to be up 2 per cent in Q1. Early indications suggest total advertising revenue will be down 10 per cent in April.

Total ITV Studios organic revenue up 9 per cent, with external revenue up 12 per cent, benefiting from the phasing of deliveries and a solid pipeline of new and returning shows.

ITV saw continued strong growth in online revenue, up 21 per cent. ITV Broadcast total revenue was down 2 per cent at £2.06 billion with adjusted EBITA down 17 per cent to £462 million.

ITV said BritBox UK is “on plan”, following its launch in November 2019. It did not reveal subscriber numbers, but reported that BritBox US has over 1 million subscribers, and ITV Hub+ has over 400,000.

Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive, said: “Thanks to the hard work of our teams across the business, our full year results have come in ahead of expectations helped by revenue growth in the second half of the year in ITV Studios, advertising and online. We are making good progress in each area of our strategy and our investments in data, technology, online and in streaming will enable ITV to be a sustainable, diversified and structurally sound digital media and entertainment business.”

However, ITV is now forecasting a major hit from Coronavirus with predicted slump of 10 per cent in April as travel companies pull out.


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