ITV tumbles on trading update


ITV shares fell 5 per cent after a flat trading update, dampening the mood at its annual meeting where a minority of shareholders were set to rebel over plans calling for an increase in bonus awards.

The X Factor and Broadchurch broadcaster’s plans to change its remuneration policy and long-term incentive scheme have met resistance as it wants to hike potential bonuses to 350 per cent of salary from 225 per cent.

Investor watchdog Pirc recommended shareholders oppose the move and leading asset manager Royal London voted against.

Chief executive Adam Crozier earned £8.4 million last year, after a big rise in profits and a near-fourfold rise in the share price

Pirc, a frequent critic of City pay, said increasing “potential rewards” for Crozier and finance director Ian Griffiths was “excessive”.

The shareholder group claimed ITV’s long-term bonus targets should be longer than three years and it had failed to explain “performance conditions”.

New City rules mean companies give shareholders several votes on pay — with separate resolutions on future remuneration and the previous year’s remuneration report.

Neither Pirc nor Royal London opposed the remuneration report.

ITV said it changed pay policy to “ensure that the remuneration framework continues to incentivise and reward strong business performance and shareholder value” and maintained it had “consulted extensively”.

First-quarter revenues rose only 2 per cent to £585 million as programme-making arm ITV Studios saw a slowdown because of seasonal “phasing” of work and share of viewing fell 8 per cent.  But ITV is upbeat about a World Cup advertising boost. The shares fell 9.1p to 181.9p.