Studio division gives kick to ITV as ad revs fall

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 10-05-2012

Even though its gloomy predictions of falling advertising revenues in 2012 has come to pass, ITV is still celebrating growth thanks to the performance of its Studios unit.

For the three month period ending 31 March 2012, ITV reported total revenues of £652 million an impressive 15% up on the figure in the corresponding period a year ago. Yet drilling down deeper it is clear where the growth has come from. ITV Broadcasting & Online posted revenues of £440 million, up a single percentage year on year while total ITV Studios revenues were up 61%, representing an £80 million lift to £212 million in Q1 2012. ITV did note though that this figure reflected front loaded delivery of a number of shows in 2012.

Whilst total non-national advertising revenue (NAR) was up £87 million (43%) to £290 million thanks to ITV Studios, ITV Family NAR dipped 1% in Q1, in line, said ITV, with the market. ITV Family share of voice (SOV) was down 2%, with digital channels up 4% for the four months to the end of April. Optimistically, ITV expects NAR in first half is forecast to be ahead of the market up around 3%, benefitting from the Euro 2012 football tournament.

Commenting on the results which are more or less in line which he predicted at the end of the 2011 financial year, Adam Crozier, ITV plc Chief Executive, said: “We continue to push forward with our five year Transformation Plan with external revenues up 13% in the first quarter of the year - driven by an increase in non-advertising revenues - in line with our strategy of rebalancing and growing the business…This positive Q1 phasing is as we expected, and puts ITV Studios on track to grow revenues this year at a similar rate to 2011.

Share of viewing for ITV Family was down by 2% in the four months to the end of April, however we remain confident in our schedule with Euro 2012 in June and a strong Autumn line up. ITV Family NAR started the year better than we anticipated but is nevertheless down 1% in Q1. While the underlying television advertising market continues to be broadly flat, we expect ITV’s ad revenue to be up around 3% in H1, helped by Euro 2012. Going forward we expect to outperform the TV ad market in H1 and for the year as a whole.”