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ITV gets extra lift from Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup 2Tue: ITV said the Rugby World Cup had helped grow advertising revenue and the initial outlook for 2016 was encouraging.

Analysts expected the broadcaster to take a hit after England’s early exit from the tournament in line with a fall in sales at grocery stores.

ITV said revenue from advertising was up 6% in the nine months to the end of September.

Adam Crozier, chief executive, said: “We’re on track for another year of double digit profit growth as we continue to strengthen ITV in the UK and internationally.  Revenues were up 13% to £2.05 billion in the nine months with all parts of the business performing well.

“As we expected, share of viewing has improved in the second half driven by strong performances in daytime, the soaps and the Rugby World Cup, and continuing this trend remains a key focus for the business.”

AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould, said: “Investors’ fears that England’s early departure from the Rugby World Cup might have dented ITV’s advertising revenues have been allayed by the broadcaster’s latest update.

“ITV is on firmly on track for another year of double-digit profit growth with all parts of the business performing well with viewing figures improving on the back of its daytime soaps and the Rugby World Cup. Total revenues are up 13% with broadcast and online revenues up 7%.”

Credit checker Experian led the blue-chip board in early trading following good momentum in the six months to the end of September and pledging to return an additional $200m to shareholders by extending its buyback programme.

International sales, marketing, distribution and business support services group DCC led the FTSE 250 after interim operating profits rose by 26.1% to £88.4m and it increased the dividend by 15%. The group is on course to deliver full year operating profit and adjusted earnings per share significantly ahead of forecasts, assuming normal winter conditions.

Vodafone service revenues bounced back in the second quarter as many of Europe’s telecoms markets made an encouraging return to growth on the back of surging demand for mobile data.

A 1.2% increase in organic service revenue in the second quarter, bettered the 0.8% in the first quarter and expectations of the same, led to a 1.0% year-on-year rise to £18.4bn for the first half of the year.

Revenue for the first half fell 2.3% to £20.3bn but earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 1.9% to £5.8bn thanks to better top-line trends and good cost control in Europe and Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The FTSE100 finished off its lows of the session, down by 19.88 points or 0.32% at 6,275.28.

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