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ITV revenues and earnings tumble despite Love Island boost

UK News | Published:

The broadcaster saw advertising revenues fall by 5% for the six months to June, marking a slight improvement on forecasts.

ITV has reported a fall in revenues and earnings for the past six months, despite hailing a strong performance by Love Island.

The company said earnings slumped on the back of sliding advertising revenue and major investment.

The broadcaster saw advertising revenues fall by 5% for the six months to June, marking a slight improvement on forecasts.

Total revenues also fell by 5% to £1.75 billion, although Love Island helped to boost revenues towards the end of the period.

ITV’s flagship reality TV programme, which opened to its highest ever viewing figures last month, helped drive the broadcaster to an 18% increase in online revenues after delivering average viewing figures of 4.2 million.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, said Love Island has made an extra £8 million on last year’s edition of the show due to boosted merchandising and advertising.

The top boss added that she watches the show, which will run two series in 2020, with her teenage children every night.

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She said that the show has helped to strengthen advertising revenues after demand weakened in March amid Brexit uncertainty.

She said: “Advertising in the second quarter was better than expected but political uncertainty continues to weaken demand.

“After March there was prolonged uncertainty after not getting that expected deal with Europe.

“That uncertainty affected clients who looked at their own accounts and weighed up their spending, and that happened across the board.

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“We have seen a tick up now because Love Island is a big show. People are spending money around that show so that has ended June better than expected.”

ITV said earnings before tax and interest fell by 16% to £310 million over the half-year, as it was also weighed down by investment on its growth strategy, including money pumped into its new Britbox streaming service.

It said it expects the launch of Britbox in the fourth quarter to help strengthen its performance, alongside a “strong pipeline” of shows including a new series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

The company is expected to save an additional £5 million to its original target of between £35 million and £40 million for the full year, it said.

Total viewing figures across its TV channels and on-demand service fell 5% year-on-year due to a “tough” comparative against the World Cup last year.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, said: “ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year.

“The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.

“We are making good progress in each area of our strategy as we become an increasingly digital entertainment company.”

Shares in the company rose by 7% to 113.6p in early trading.

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