Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

ITV maintains outlook even as revenue falls

ITV maintains outlook even as revenue falls

Total external revenue fell three per cent to £731m in the three months to the end of March, ITV said, with broadcast and online revenues falling six per cent to £507m.

The broadcaster of dramas such as Broadchurch and Cold Feet blamed the dip on the challenging economic environment and the absence of a big worldwide football tournament this summer.

ITV said it sees another fall in ad revenue of between 15-20% in the second quarter due to a lack of global football tournament this summer. We are confident that ITV Studios will report good organic revenue growth for 2017 and we have already secured over 75 percent of the expected full year's revenue. They were up 22 percent in the first three months of 2017. Interested investors should appreciate that ITV said it had left its full year guidance unchanged despite the mixed messages this morning.

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As of 08:12 BST, ITV's share price had lost 0.99 percent to 198.81p, underperforming the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index now 0.02 percent better off at 7,344.04 points.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Advertising makes up a sizeable chunk of ITV's top line and the clouds hanging over the economy mean ad budgets are being cut, which is weighing on the shares".

The broadcaster warned that the advertising market would remain tough compared to past year, when the Euro2016 football tournament boosted revenues.

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He said last week he was quitting next month after seven years.

The aggressively acquisitive ITV sees "clear opportunities to invest for further growth across the business". ITV Chairman, Peter Bazalgette, will take on the role of Executive Chairman during that time.

That is in line with earlier guidance but the downbeat tone only increased City speculation that chief executive Adam Crozier is getting out ahead of a downturn. ITV says it has a "well developed succession plan" in place and that a longer term successor to Crozier will be announced in due course.

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