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ITV Revenues Dip in ‘Uncertain Environment,’ but Content Sales Rise

Stewart Clarke

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ITV revenues were down by 2% in the first nine months of 2019. CEO Carolyn McCall, who has set a strategy refresh in motion, said the U.K.-based broadcaster’s performance was in line with its expectations, adding that, “although the economic environment continues to be uncertain, we are making good progress in executing our strategy.”

Total revenues for the nine months to end-September were £2.2 billion ($2.8 billion), 2% down on the same period in 2018. Ad revenues came in at £1.2 billion and slipped 3% across that time frame.

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ITV has embarked on corporate cost-cutting measures and said it would make £20 million in savings in 2019. Last week, the company announced that it had agreed to sell its historic London Television Centre building to Mitsubishi Estate London in a cash transaction valued at £145.6 million ($187 million). The deal is scheduled to be completed by month’s end.

ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster, has also rolled out BritBox in the U.K., the box-set streaming service that it 90% owns in Britain. (In North America, BritBox is an evenly split joint venture with the BBC.) On Tuesday, ITV unveiled a new addressable platform for advertisers.

Content division ITV Studios’ sales inched up 1% to £1.1 billion. McCall said that in the last three months there was good growth at the unit, with the U.S. edition of reality hit “Love Island” and the likes of “Hell’s Kitchen” and drama series “Snowpiercer” bolstering the production and distribution business.

“We expect this performance to continue in Q4, and over the full year we are confident that we will deliver at least 5% growth in ITV Studios’ total revenues at a margin of 14% to 16%,” McCall said of ITV Studios.

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