ITV loses viewing share but increases ad revs in Q1 2015

DetailsEditor | 14 May 2015

In advance of its AGM, ITV plc has revealed a trading update for the first quarter of the year, showing strong financial growth balanced by a dip in its family share of viewing.

For the three months to 31 March 2015, ITV generated total external revenue of £665 million, up 14% year-on-year, with revenues at the broadcast & online division climbing 10% to £530 million, reflecting 12% growth in NAR, and further strong growth, a very healthy 31%, in the online, pay & interactive division. The latter was helped by growth in online advertising and by the new pay-TV channel ITV Encore.

Overall, ITV Family NAR was forecast to be up around 5% in H1, while by contrast non-NAR revenue was up 13% to £319 million. The current star performer, ITV Studios, which recently completed the acquisition of 100% of Talpa Media, grew revenue 17% to reach £224 million with a return to organic growth of 8%.

Commenting on the Q1 2015 results, ITV plc CEO Adam Crozier said: ""We've had a strong start to the year with further growth across all parts of the business as we continue to deliver against our strategy ... We remain focused on building a global scripted business, with a number of high profile dramas this year including Thunderbirds Are Go, The Good Witch, Texas Rising, Aquarius, Raised by Wolves and Jekyll & Hyde. Looking forward to the rest of the year we have a healthy pipeline of new drama to come."

Looking to the new quarter and beyond, Crozier conceded that improving share of viewing had to be a key focus as well as improving performance at its main channel where he expects to see a boost in the second half of the year when ITV will have had the benefit of the exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup.

Crozier also expected ITV NAR to be up around 5% in H1, and while quarterly phasing will be different to 2014, he predicted it to outperform the market over the full year with online, pay & interactive continuing to grow strongly across the year. ITV Studios was he said on track to increase revenue by around £100 million on a constant currency basis with the benefit of Talpa to come.