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ITV boss dreams of World Cup success

ITV is facing "highly uncertain" markets in the second half of 2010 despite revenues increasing in the first three months of the year, the group's new chief executive admitted yesterday.

In his first update to investors, Adam Crozier said that while the country's biggest commercial, free-to-air broadcaster was expecting a viewing boom this summer as football fans tune into the World Cup, the longer term outlook was less certain.

"Over two years, revenues are still tracking below 2008 levels," Mr Crozier said. "The outlook for the latter part of 2010 and early 2011 is tough with more testing year-on-year comparators and uncertain market conditions post-election.

"Given also the long-term challenges facing the free-to-air market, change remains an imperative at ITV and we are focused on driving the transformation of the business over the next 3-5 years."

ITV's group revenue rose 6 per cent to £450m in the first quarter, while television advertising income jumped 8 per cent. The company predicted that advertising revenue would climb 22 per cent in the second three months, although that was against especially weak comparative figures.