ITV profits double for 2010 to £321 million as MediaCity investment looms

ITV has announced that it doubled its profits in 2010 to £321 million following a resurgence in the advertising market. Costs of MediaCity move also highlighted.

The upturn in advertising spent is thought to have been as a result of programmes such as The X Factor, Downton Abbey and the World Cup attracting brands to advertise alongside, although ITV has said it will ‘remain cautious’ due to the poor economic outlook ahead for 2011, which will likely impact the advertising market.

Pre-tax profits were £286 million for 2010, which saw the broadcasters net debt fall from £612 million in 2009 to £188 million, although ITV Studios saw its profits fall by £10 million to £81 million.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, commented: "Whilst the recovery in television advertising is clearly very helpful, it also serves to remind us just how volatile this market can be."

Crozier also said that advertising earnings were expected to have risen by 12 per cent in the first three months of 2011, but that these figures were unlikely to be sustained without an event such as the World Cup.

Yesterday, the broadcaster also announced that it had appointed for E4 chief Angela Jain as its director of digital content and acquisitions.

Meanwhile, the accounts gave an insight into the potential costs of ITV's move to MediaCity in Salford. They said the move into new studios, which will include the relocation of the Coronation Street set, will contribute to a rise in capital expenditure from £28m to £80m this year.

Head of TV for Mediacom Edinburgh, Sean Japp, commented on the ITV announcement: "These are a solid set of results from ITV in what was a tough year for the whole advertising industry. Their reliance on Fame Programming and the Football World Cup played a large part in this resurgence. With no big sporting event this year outwith the Rugby World Cup it will be interesting to see if this resurgence continues, especially with the economic outlook still looking pessimistic.

There is no doubt that advertisers still require a strong ITV and with figures like these and the news of the further investment into programming, content and studios the future is looking a lot brighter for the broadcaster. "

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