ITV profit jumps 213%

ITV has reported profit jumped 213% last year, driven by a spike in advertising revenue.

The broadcaster’s pre-tax profit for 2010 was £321m, up from the £108m registered a year earlier.

Revenue leapt 10% in the year to £2.06bn as the company benefited from brands advertising during World Cup games and around ratings hits such as X-Factor and Downtown Abbey. Net debt fell to £188m, down from £612m.

Momentum has continued into the New Year, the company says, with revenue up 12% in the first quarter to date.

Despite the bump in revenue, the broadcaster will be disappointed by a drop in its share of viewing, down by 4% in 2010.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, adds that the broadcaster remains “cautious” about the prospects for the second-half despite outperforming the recovering advertising market last year.

“We remain cautious, and will continue to plan prudently, in terms of the economic outlook and its impact on the TV advertising market.”

He adds that although revenue is expected to receive a Royal Wedding bump of between 8 and 12% in April, “the comparatives become increasingly tough as the year proceeds and without the benefit of the football World Cup”.

Crozier introduced a five-year plan last August to turn the then struggling company around – the broadcaster posted a £2.7bn loss in 2008.

The company says it will spend £25m of a £75m three-year investment fund this year with £7m going online, £12m on content and £6m on digital channels.

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