ITV sees rise in online revenues

ITV has reported group revenues fell 11% in the first nine months of the year to £1.3 billion.

Stacey Soloman  X Factor
Stacey Soloman, X Factor

The company, which has still not named a new chairman or chief executive, says that broadcasting revenues were down 12% to £1.05 billion but that online revenues leapt 8% to £27m for the nine months to 30 September.

The broadcaster, which has seen a dramatic drop year on year in advertising revenues during the recession, forecast that net advertising revenues (NAR) were expected to be flat in Q4 and that it saw the UK television ad market “stabilising”.

It suggests that NAR in October will be down 3%, November down 1% and December will benefit from the seasonal effect and see ad revenues jump 4%. As of last trade the broadcster’s share price had risen 6.42% to 48.47 pence.

Over the full year ITV expects NAR to be down 12% with ITV continuing to trade ahead of the market.

Chief operating officer John Cresswell, who will act as CEO until one is appointed but who will then depart ITV , says: “All our channels are performing strongly on-screen and ITV1 is extending its lead over BBC1 in peak time viewing. Booth ITV Studios and are delivering revenue growth. We are meeting our cost savings targets and continue to strengthen our balancer sheet.

“Whilst our visibility is limited, the outlook for the fourth quarter has continued to improve and ITV is continuing to outperform the market. With further cost savings and a strong schedule in 2010, including the World Cup, we are confident that ITV is well-positioned to benefit from any market recovery.”

The broadcaster has seen strong audience ratings from some of its ITV1 flagship shows, including Benidorm and The X Factor, which saw off the challenge from BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing when they were scheduled head-to-head.

ITV channels saw their share of peak viewing rise very slightly to 27.6% for the year to date with ITV1’s share at 23.1%. BBC1’s share stands at 22.2%.

Its plan to sell Friends Reunited to Brightsolid Group has been referred to the Competition Commission.

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