ITV reports ‘encouraging’ results

ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, reported a smaller fall in first-half profits than expected posting £151m in underlining earnings in the six months to June 30, down from £202m the year before.

The broadcaster also indicated at a turnaround in the advertising market saying the UK television advertising market, which remained essentially flat in the first half of the year, would grow by 6% in the third quarter of 2007.

Michael Grade, who took over as ITV executive chairman in January, says:

“I’m very pleased with progress in ITV1’s schedule performance and the outlook for revenues in quarter three is encouraging.”

ITV, like other broadcasters, has been hit by a premium line phone-in scandal but Grade says he has “complete confidence” in the broadcaster’s programming.

He adds: “We at ITV are establishing a culture of zero tolerance for this apparent and casual contempt towards viewers.”

ITV also announced the appointment of two non-executive directors, Agnes Touraine and Heather Killen, who have previously held positions at Vivendi Universal and Yahoo! respectively.

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