ITV has blamed external factors for a slump in its family net advertising revenues (NAR) after publishing figures showing a decline from £1,672m in 2016 to just £1,591m last year.
This was impacted by an £81m decline in advertising which was only partially offset by improved revenue in other areas such as online.
Despite blaming the figures on an ‘uncertain economic environment’ the numbers will make difficult reading for newly installed chief executive Carolyn McCall in what is her first set of results since arriving at the broadcaster from EasyJet.
Adopting an upbeat tone, McCall said she expected family NAR figures to turn positive in 2018 with a 1% rise in the first half leading up to an expected windfall in the second half spurred by the Fifa World Cup.
McCall wrote: “There is no doubt that ITV's operational performance in 2017 in a challenging environment was strong. ITV delivered a great viewing performance on-screen and online and double-digit revenue growth in video on demand advertising and ITV Studios.
“We have had a great start to 2018. On-screen we have grown our viewing share and volume and online we have continued to deliver double digit growth in viewing.”
ITV has been buoyed by the success of hit formats such as Dancing on Ice which saw total external revenue increase from £3,064m in 2016 to £3,132m in 2017.