ITV’s net advertising revenue rose by seven per cent in the first half of this year, latest figures show, while pre-tax profits jumped up by 40 per cent.
The World Cup helped give the broadcaster the boost, which saw revenue from broadcast and online up seven per cent to £981m, while ITV Studios – which creates programmes such as Coronation Street – recorded a revenue increase of two per cent to £402m. Profit before tax is up by 40 per cent to £250m.
However, despite revenue rises, ITV’s share of viewing fell by five per cent across all channels due to a “disappointing” performance from ITV2 and ITV3.
Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, said the results showed that ITV’s internal restructuring plan, which started in 2010, was the correct strategy and would continue.
“We enter the next phase of ITV’s growth strategy as a demonstrably better business than when we launched the Transformation Plan in 2010,” he said.
“The plan we embarked on four years ago or rebalancing and strengthening ITV creatively and financially, both in the UK and internationally, is clearly the right one for the company and our vision remains unchanged.
“We will continue to rebalance the business and grow new revenue streams, both organically and through acquisition. We see clear opportunities for growth across the business – in content, online, pay and advertising and there will be an increasing emphasis on international content creation and distribution.”
The broadcaster expects to make £15m of cost savings in 2014 and is £5m ahead of its original target. ITV said it expects to “significantly outperform” the market over the full year and the company’s acquisitions – such as Leftfield Entertainment – should assist in growth for ITV Studios.
“The market environment in which we operate is constantly changing, characterised by converging media and the increasing influence of technology, which brings both challenges and opportunities,” Crozier added.
“ITV’s financial strength and its strategic advantages including the scale of our UK channels, our share of the advertising market, and our growing global network in the development, production and distribution of content, put us in a strong position to be able to meet these challenges and exploit opportunities for growth.”
Earlier this month, Liberty Global bought a 6.4 per cent stake in ITV from BskyB. The news boosted shares in ITV, although the US Group has so far denied it is ready to mount a full takeover bid.