ITV escapes hangover from Olympics and is boosted by revenues surge from studios

 

ITV cheered investors yesterday as it said advertising had fallen less than feared since the Olympics and its production arm ITV Studios, which makes shows such as I'm A Celebrity and Coronation Street, saw revenues surge by a fifth.

The shares jumped almost 9 per cent to 94.6p, making ITV the biggest riser on the FTSE 100.

Adam Crozier, the chief executive, said advertising revenues should be down only 2 per cent across October and November and are forecast to be flat in December, despite economic jitters and a ratings slide for flagship show X Factor.

The ad performance was much better than some media buyers were forecasting only a few weeks ago, when big agency groups such as WPP and Publicis warned of a sharp slowdown in client spending since September.

Mr Crozier's relatively positive outlook follows similar noises from Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror, which said last week that revenue trends have been improving in November.

ITV still endured a tough third quarter as viewers flocked to the BBC to watch the Olympics, with ad revenues declining 6 per cent, although that was ahead of the wider TV market.

Ad revenues for the full year should be flat, but ITV increased group sales by 4 per cent to £1.57bn in the nine months to September thanks to ITV Studios.

The in-house production arm, which makes shows not only for ITV but also other broadcasters such as the BBC and Channel 4, should report over £100m in profit this year, close to a quarter of group profits.

"The number of new commissions and recommissions already secured for 2013 gives us confidence that there will continue to be good, underlying growth in the Studios business," said Mr Crozier.

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