Studios business makes up for Olympics hit on ads for ITV

Editor | 13-11-2012

The Olympics may have been a huge success for the BBC and Channel 4, but not apparently for ITV as it released details of its financial performance of the first nine months of 2012.

For the three-quarterly period ended 30 September, ITV revealed that total external revenues were up year-on-year 4% to £1.573 billion with the ITV Studios business line continuing the strong performance that it has shown over the last 12 months, with total revenues up 20% compared with 2011 to £498 million. ITV Broadcasting & Online total revenues inched up by a single percentage year-on-year to £1.309 billion.

The nine-month performance compares unfavourably to the half yearly figures wheninterim results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2012 showed double digit growth for both revenue and profit. External revenues were up 10% to £1.130 billion, with growth in all areas of the business and total national advertising revenue (NAR).

For the latest results, ITV Family NAR was flat over the nine months, still just ahead of the UK TV ad market as a whole, with ITV Family SOV down 3%. ITV Family NAR is forecast to be broadly flat over the full year, however digital channels’ revenues rose 3% for the ten months to end of October.

Commenting somewhat bullishly on the slightly disappointing results, ITV plc chief executive Adam Crozier said: “We have made further progress in reshaping and rebalancing ITV to ensure the business is more robust both commercially and creatively….This has been an extraordinary year for UK television with many unique events including the Queen’s Jubilee, The London Olympics and the Paralympics. In fact nine out of the top ten programmes aired will not return next year and as we expected this has affected our viewing performance. However, we do not expect our viewing performance in 2012 to impact our advertising share in 2013 and we are focused on growing our share of viewing next year.”

The momentum we are building in our non-NAR revenues has helped grow group revenues up 4% to £1.573 billion in difficult economic conditions and with a broadly flat television advertising market.”

Looking forward, Crozier expected ITV Studios to report over £100 million for the full 12 months of 2012, and the number of new commissions and recommissions already secured for 2013 would give the broadcaster a basis for underlying growth.