Robust trade

ITV shares surge on advertising forecast

ITV has benefited from series such as Vera (pic: ITV)

Shares in ITV leapt yesterday after the broadcaster forecast a sharp rise in its advertising revenue as the economy fully reopened.

A robust trading update it forecast a 24% rise in annual advertising sales, prompting a 15.14% (16.55p) surge in its shares to 125.1p which made it the best performer in the FTSE 100 index.

For the nine months to 30 September total external revenue was up 28% at £2.38 billion (2020: £1.86bn) and up 8% compared to 2019.

The company said it has a a strong programming slate going into next year as it continues to invest in content and expects total schedule costs will be around £1.16 billion in 2022.

ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “By any standards ITV has had an outstanding nine months. Both our Studios and Media & Entertainment (M&E) businesses have performed very strongly.

“Revenue from each business over the nine months is up both on last year and on 2019. This drove total external revenue up 28% compared to 2020 and 8% higher than 2019.”

This includes the FIFA World Cup, the FA Cup and a strong schedule of dramas which will drive increased levels of live and streaming viewing.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell said: “for the business to be on course for the highest advertising revenue in its history is an impressive achievement.

“It underlines the continued relevance of television as a medium to advertisers given its reach.

“The question now is what next for ITV amid rumours it might bid for its free-to-air counterpart Channel 4 if the Government pushes ahead with a privatisation of the latter.

“There is some logic to such a move as it would help ITV reach a different audience and secure access to some valuable content.”

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