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TOP NEWS: ITV First Half Ad Revenue Underpinned By "Love Island" Show.

(Alliance News) - Broadcaster ITV PLC on Wednesday its advertising revenue fall in the first half was less steep than expected due to strong viewership numbers for Love Island show.

ITV shares were up 7.3% in early trade in London at 113.99 pence each.

For the six months to June 30, total revenue fell 5.4% to GBP1.75 billion from GBP1.85 billion in the first half of 2018. External revenue declined 7.3% to GBP1.48 billion in period.

Advertising revenue slipped 4.6% to GBP849 million from GBP890 million a year ago, while non-advertising revenue was 6.1% lower at GBP900 million. Back in May, the company guided for a 6% decline in advertising revenue.

ITV Studios revenue fell 5.6% to GBP758 million, while Broadcast & Online revenue decreased 5.2% to GBP991 million.

"ITV Studios has a solid pipeline of new and returning shows this year - from I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! to World on Fire to Snowpiercer - and is firmly on track to deliver our full year guidance," said ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall.

"Online revenue grew strongly up 18% despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue," said McCall.

On-screen, the company said its total viewing decreased by 5.8% year-on-year, against the Football World Cup last year, with total ITV viewing at 8.2 billion hours.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation declined 13% to GBP327 million from GBP375 million, due to the decrease in total advertising revenue and the impact of ITV's essential investments to support the strategic priorities.

Pretax profit dropped by 16% to GBP222 million from GBP265 million the year before. Adjusted pretax profit declined by 15% to GBP301 million from GBP354 million in the first half of 2018.

Looking ahead McCall said: "The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities."

ITV said it is on track to launch BritBox UK and its programmatic addressable advertising platform in the fourth quarter of 2019, which will further position ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.

BritBox is a new subscription video on demand service, which will be launched in partnership with BBC.

Over 2019 as a whole, ITV said it is confident in delivering GBP20 million of cost savings, double-digit online revenue growth and dividend of at least 8.0p per share. For the first half, ITV paid a dividend of 2.6p, flat on a year before.

By Evelina Grecenko; evelinagrecenko@alliancenews.com

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Publication:Alliance Newswire
Date:Jul 24, 2019
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