ITV up­beat over fes­tive ad spend de­spite bud­get cuts

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Jack Tor­rance and Christo­pher Wil­liams

‘There is clear ev­i­dence of the ben­e­fit of re­bal­anc­ing the busi­ness and gen­er­at­ing new rev­enue streams’

ITV said pres­sure in the ad­ver­tis­ing mar­ket will ease in the run up to Christ­mas, af­ter its trad­ing up­date showed buy­ers con­tin­u­ing to cut spend­ing.

The broad­caster said it ex­pected fourth-quar­ter ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues to be up 1pc on last year, com­pared with a slump of 7pc across the first nine months of the year. In the third quar­ter ad­ver­tis­ing sales were down 4pc.

Over­all rev­enues for the first nine months were down only 1pc to £2.1bn, as de­clines in ad­ver­tis­ing were al­most matched by in­creased sales of pro­grammes and a push on­line. ITV Stu­dios, the pro­duc­tion busi­ness, was up 9pc to £1bn. Sir Peter Bazal­gette, ITV’s chair­man, who has ex­ec­u­tive re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­til the ar­rival of Dame Carolyn McCall as chief ex­ec­u­tive in Jan­uary, said the per­for­mance was “very much as an­tic­i­pated”.

“This is clear ev­i­dence of the ben­e­fit of re­bal­anc­ing the busi­ness and gen­er­at­ing new rev­enue streams,” he added.

The tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tis­ing mar­ket has been hit by bud­get cuts by su­per­mar­kets and big con­sumer brand own­ers such as Proc­ter and Gam­ble and Reckitt Benckiser. Sir Peter said ITV was “see­ing a re­turn to TV ad­ver­tis­ing from some of the FMCGs and gro­cers although wider cor­po­rate con­fi­dence in the UK con­tin­ues to be im­pacted by po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic un­cer­tainty”.

He gave no up­date on ITV’s con­fronta­tion with Vir­gin Me­dia. The broad­caster has sent the cable op­er­a­tor a bill for up to £80m for re­trans­mis­sion fees for its main chan­nel. If it re­fuses to pay, ITV has threat­ened to cut off 3.8m cable homes early next year.

ITV shares ended down 2.6pc at 150p.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.