ITV “cautiously optimistic” as ad market rebounds

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ITV has reported that total external Q1 revenue was up 2 per cent on the same period last year to £709 million (€821.1m), despite the Covid-19 restrictions in place throughout the period, unlike the same quarter in 2020 which only had a limited impact.

Total ITV Studios revenue was up 9 per cent at £372 million (2020: £342m). Media and Entertainment revenue was down 3 per cent at £484 million (2020: £500m) impacted by the national lockdown. As expected ITV total advertising was down 6 per cent and online revenue was up 14 per cent.

ITV total viewing was up 1 per cent boosted by the likes of Unforgotten, Saturday Night Takeaway and the Six Nations rugby tournament, along with the good performance of its soaps, news and daytime shows.

ITV Hub registered users were up 5 per cent and dwell time was up 6 per cent. Online viewing was down 11 per cent in Q1 impacted by the absence of winter Love Island in January and February. Excluding the impact of Love Island, online viewing was up 23 per cent in Q1.

ITV main channel’s share of viewing was up from 17.9 per cent to 18.2 per cent; ITV Family share of viewing was down from 23.6 per cent to 23.1 per cent.

Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive, said: “We have made a good start to 2021 with total revenue and total viewing both up, despite the continuing impact of the pandemic. We finished the quarter strongly with the substantial majority of our shows back in production and a recovery in the advertising market.”

“We are encouraged by the UK roadmap out of lockdown and remain cautiously optimistic about the year ahead. Our advertising revenues are rebounding from last year with April up 68 per cent and we expect May to be up around 85 per cent and June up between 85 per cent and 90 per cent, compared to the same period in 2020. This is driven by UK Covid-19 restrictions being reduced and a strong schedule featuring Love Island and the Euros.”

“However, the advertising market and worldwide productions remain exposed to the risks associated with the pandemic. Accordingly, we continue to closely monitor the situation in all the countries in which we operate. We remain committed to investing in the acceleration of our strategy to digitally transform ITV which will, in part, be funded by the delivery of our cost saving targets,” she concluded.


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