ITV fights back as advertising rebounds

Revenues up by 11 per cent, but Crozier posts cautious outlook for 2011

ITV finally gave investors some positive news yesterday as the country's biggest commercial broadcaster, bolstered by shows such as The X Factor and Downton Abbey, posted higher revenues on the back of a strong rebound in advertising.

Revenues rose by 11 per cent to £1.46bn in the nine months to September, comfortably above the £1.31bn booked for the same period last year. Despite the upbeat results, however, management remained wary of the uncertain economic outlook and struck a note of caution.

The gains were spurred on by a 16 per cent increase in television-advertising revenues in the three months to September, a period which coincided with part of the football World Cup. ITV expects the figure to ease to 10 per cent in the final quarter.

The update comes against the backdrop of a string of successes which promise to underpin the business during the three months to December.

The X Factor has been an evident hit: the price of a 30-second advertising slot on the network during the show's final weekend are reported to be running at up to £250,000. The broadcaster also drew audiences of 10 million for the finale of Downton Abbey, the period-drama series created by the Oscar-winning scriptwriter Julian Fellowes.

Adam Crozier, who took over as ITV's chief executive after joining from Royal Mail earlier this year, was, however, careful to put the figures in perspective.

"The television-advertising market has continued to recover strongly," he said. "However this does not disguise the significant challenges ITV faces and we remain focused on delivering the five-year transformation plan."

That plan is Mr Crozier's prescription for overhauling the broadcaster. It was announced during the summer and the strategy includes entering the pay-TV market to generate around half of the company's revenues from sources beyond advertising.

"It is pretty obvious to me that being so reliant on one extremely volatile and declining source of income is not a healthy place for us to be in the long run," Mr Crozier said in August. Yesterday, he signalled progress with the transformation drive.

"We have launched HD [high definition] versions of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 on the Sky platform, we have agreed a new three-year deal for both The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and we have completed the sale of Screenvision," he said.

He also highlighted the clouded economic picture, telling investors that "the economic outlook for 2011 is uncertain and we continue to plan on a cautious basis".

UBS analysts welcomed the chief executive's tone, arguing that it "will ward off complacency". Credit Suisse turned its attention to the challenges in the medium term, commending management for setting out a "credible long-term plan", but giving warning that investors may have to wait until the first half of 2012 before the strategy starts to bear fruit.

"In 2011, the UK Government austerity measures... will make it much more difficult to sustain the positive momentum in advertising revenues," the broker said, adding that, until the company's next formal update in March, "ad hoc updates from media buyers on trading in the UK TV advertising market will be important catalysts" for the shares.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

HR Advisor - 6 months FTC Wimbledon, SW London

£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...

IT Manager - Tolworth, Surrey - £40,000

£37000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Tolworth, Surrey - £40,...

Compliance Officer - Trading Firm - London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + excellent package & bonus expectations: Real Staff...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil