ITV outperforms first quarter ad market

Broadcaster ITV outperformed the television advertising market in the first quarter of the year with online sales providing a further boost.

Broadcaster ITV outperformed the television advertising market in the first quarter of the year with online sales providing a further boost.

Broadcast and online revenues in the first three months of the year rose strongly year-on-year, although the smaller TV studios arm fell back on the previous year.

Revenues from ITV Studios, the group's international production and distribution unit, were down 5.0% to £201m, although Chief Executive Adam Crozier reassured that the business was up against a front-loaded delivery of programmes last year and was set to deliver double digit revenue growth over the full year.

"Given the longer term visibility we have in our Studios revenues we're confident that we will deliver double digit growth this year," he said.

He pointed to two recent acquisitions of The Garden in the UK, producer of programmes such as 24 Hours in A&E, and High Noon Entertainment in the US, a maker of reality TV shows for cable, including DIY Disaster House, Last Cake Standing and Funeral Boss.

In the larger part of the business, broadcast and online revenues in the quarter were up 6.0% at £465m from £440m, driven by 6.0% growth in net advertising revenues and a 17% increase in sales from online, paid content and interactive TV.

Crozier said: "We've had a good start to the year with ITV outperforming the TV ad market in the first quarter, a strong performance on screen with the family share of viewing increasing 2.0% and further strong growth in Online, Pay and Interactive.

"As we anticipated, the quarterly pattern of demand from advertisers in 2013 is very different to 2012 although we expect it to even out over the course of the year. While we are cautious about the outlook for TV advertising for 2013, our objective remains to outperform the market over the full year."

ITV's family net advertising revenue is forecast to be down around 3.0% over the first half - against tough comparatives in the second quarter last year from the Euro 2012 football competition.

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