ITV advertising revenues grow 11%

Broadcaster’s online, pay and interactive revenues increase by 17% year on year, with requests on ITV Player up 16%

ITV has reported double-digit growth in TV ad revenue in the third quarter, and expects its production arm to finish the year strongly thanks to shows including I’ma Celebrity and a new drama on Lord Lucan.

The broadcaster said TV ad revenues grew 11% in the third quarter, helped in part due to a “soft” comparison with last year as advertisers stayed away while the BBC’s coverage of the London Olympics dominated the nation’s viewing.

ITV said TV ad revenue grew 8% in October and is forecasting November to be up 4% and December up 1%. The figures exclude TV sponsorship revenues.

ITV Studios, the production arm responsible for shows including Hell’s Kitchen and Coronation Street, has continued its revitalisation with revenues for the nine months to the end of September up 11% to £55m.

Adam Crozier, the ITV chief executive, said the production division would have a “strong fourth quarter”, due in part to a schedule of delivering shows for airing in the final months of the year.

ITV Studios fourth quarter will benefit from delivering the latest series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which began its 13th series at the weekend with record viewing figures, as well as shows for international markets such as Hell’s Kitchen in the US and Guinness World Records.

However, the broadcaster pointed out that ITV Studios’ growth has come primarily from buying firms such as Graham Norton’s So Television, Big Talk, which makes Rev for the BBC, as well as films including Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End, and Gurney, the US producer behind reality shows including Duck Dynasty.

“Our ongoing investment in ITV Studios continues to bear fruit,” said Crozier. “We’re confident of a strong performance over the full year – both organically and from our recent acquisitions – underpinned by a delivery schedule which this year is weighted to the fourth quarter”.

ITV said its studio operation will grow by about 5% on an organic basis, stripping out the effect of acquisitions.

The broadcaster’s online, pay and interactive revenues grew by 17% year on year in the nine months to the end of September, with requests to view TV programmes on the ITV Player up 16% to 401m.

“We continue to make good progress with our strategy of growing and strengthening ITV both creatively and commercially, and all parts of the business are performing well,” said Crozier.

Crozier said ITV will increase its cost savings from £20m to £25m this year.

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