Jul 24, 2019

ITV shares boosted by slimmer than forecast fall in ad sales

ITV reported a slimmer than expected fall in its advertising revenue on Wednesday, sending its shares rallying more than 7 per cent. Total advertising revenue fell 5 per cent to £849m in the six month ending June 30, and live viewing of its TV and online channels fell 5 per cent year-on-year to 8.2bn hours after a particularly successful previous year with the Football World Cup. It had in May forecast a decline in ad sales of 6 per cent. Profits before tax in the first six months fell 16 per cent to £222m. "The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy," said ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall, adding she wanted the company to become an "Increasingly digital entertainment company" to tap into "Evolving viewing and advertising opportunities". ITV said it would extend the show to two, instead of one, series a year by 2020 and Dame Carolyn credited it with supporting online revenues that grew 18 per cent.

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