ITV H1: “We’re emerging from pandemic”

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ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, has reported that total H1 external revenue was up 27 per cent at £1.54 billion.

Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive, said: “Our H1 results demonstrate that ITV is emerging from the worst effects of the pandemic. We’ve continued to implement our key strategic priorities and have further strengthened the business. Total external revenue was up 27 per cent driven by 26 per cent growth in ITV Studios revenue and a 29 per cent increase in total advertising revenue within which total video on demand advertising was up 55 per cent.”

“We are now a more flexible, more efficient and more digital business. We have successfully completed the first phase of our More Than TV strategy and look forward to building on this platform to accelerate our transformation to a digitally led media and entertainment company. We are optimistic about the future, despite the ongoing pandemic risk on our advertising and ITV Studios revenues. We know that the dividend is important to our shareholders and we intend to re-commence a progressive dividend policy based on a notional dividend of 5p per share which we expect to grow over time.  The first dividend under the new policy would be a final dividend of 3.3p per share proposed at the full year results in respect of 2021,” added McCall.

H1 highlights

  • ITV Studios total revenue was up 26 per cent at £798 million (30 June 2020: £632 million), with the substantial majority of programmes back in production and also benefitting from a number of programmes and licences being delivered earlier than expected. This was up 5 per cent on 2019. ITV Studios external revenue was up 31 per cent at £523 million.
  • Total Media & Entertainment (M&E) revenue was up 25 per cent at £1,028 million (30 June 2020: £822 million), with total advertising revenue (TAR) up 29 per cent within which AVoD was up 55 per cent. Total M&E revenue was up 4 per cent on 2019.
  • Adjusted group EBITA was up 98 per cent at £327 million (30 June 2020: £165 million). This was driven by: the strong recovery in the advertising market; resumption of productions; and tight cost control delivering £21 million of savings, of which £15 million are permanent
  • Adjusted EPS was up 103 per cent at 5.9p (30 June 2020: 2.9p). This compares to 6.2p in 2019
  • Reported EBITA was £316 million (30 June 2020: £159 million). Statutory profit before tax was £133 million (30 June 2020: £15 million) and statutory EPS was 2.4p (30 June 2020: 0.5p)

  M&E:

  • TAR in H1 was up 29 per cent with May up 87 per cent and June up 115 per cent compared to the same period in 2020
  • June 2021 delivered the largest advertising revenues for the month of June for ITV in its history, benefitting from the easing of restrictions and the Euros
  • Total TAR for June and July 2021 is expected to be 16 per cent higher than the same period in 2018 when ITV broadcast the Football World Cup and series 4 of Love Island
  • Strong growth in VoD advertising, up 55 per cent in H1 compared to the same period in 2020, even after double digit growth over the full year 2020

Viewing

  • Total ITV viewing was down 6 per cent in H1 against tough comparatives and the easing of lockdown restrictions but we saw strong ratings from programmes including Unforgotten, Saturday Night TakeAway, The Masked Singer, Euro 2020 and the start of Love Island
  • Hub viewing was up 6 per cent, in spite of tough comparatives of Winter Love Island in 2020. Dwell time was up 4 per cent and simulcast viewing was up 20 per cent
  • Registered users for the ITV Hub were up 7 per cent at 34.6 million and monthly active users (MAU) were up 7 per cent
  • ITV main channel share of viewing (SOV) was up from 16.9 per cent to 17.4 per cent; ITV Family SOV was up from 22.6 per cent  to 22.7 per cent

Outlook

The comparatives are tougher in H2 but ITV says it is encouraged by the advertising outlook with July expected to be up 68 per cent and August up 17 per cent to 20 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

ITV adds it will continue to invest in data, tech and analytics to enable further platform integration and a more seamless viewer experience. ITV will hold two investor seminars in the Autumn provide a deeper dive into ITV Studios and M&E.

 


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