ITV boosted by advertising recovery

ITV pointed to signs of improvement in the advertising market today after revenues grew 6% in the first nine months of the year.

Chief executive Adam Crozier also hailed the broadcaster’s “increasingly varied and high quality schedule” after its main channel’s viewing share rose from 15.6% to 16.1% in the year to October 31.

The popularity of shows such as The X-Factor and Downton Abbey have helped the performance, while Sunday’s launch of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! drew a record audience of 12 million.

ITV’s net advertising revenues are expected to be up by 2% this year, having risen 11% in the third quarter due to the marketing battle between BT and BSkyB and comparisons with last year’s Olympics.

However, ITV has been looking to minimise its exposure to volatile advertising markets by boosting its spending on original content.

It has snapped up production companies behind programmes such as 24 Hours In A&E and the Graham Norton Show to build an arsenal of original content it can sell around the globe.

The investment meant revenues from ITV Studios rose 11%, even though its release schedule is weighted towards the current quarter.

Overall, ITV’s revenues were £1.66 billion in the nine months to September 30, compared with £1.57 billion a year earlier.

Mr Crozier said: “ITV is now a stronger and more balanced business and as we move into 2014 we will continue to see growth across the company.”

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