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Mike Fletcher 

ITV predicts final quarter growth for 2020

ITV predicts final quarter growth for 2020

ITV’s CEO, Carolyn McCall has predicted an annual rise in advertising revenues for the final quarter of 2020 after November revenues rose by 6% and ITV Studios resumed the majority of its productions.

Speaking as the UK commercial broadcaster released a Q3 trading update for the nine months to 30 September, McCall said: “We are seeing encouraging signs in both our divisions. Advertising trends are improving with Q4 forecast to be slightly up year-on-year and 85% of our productions in the UK and internationally that were paused as a result of Covid-19 are back in production or have been delivered.

“However, Covid restrictions and further national lockdowns have added production costs and are making it challenging to bring ITV Studios productions back to full capacity.”

The Covid crisis severely impacted ITV’s operational and financial performance for the first three quarters of the year. Total external revenue was down 16% at £1.86 million and total ITV Studios revenue was down 19% at £902 million.

In the same period, ITV’s total viewing was up 2% with an increase in live viewing, although online viewing was down 6% with no summer edition of Love Island and fewer episodes of soaps.

Improvements in advertising spend for Q3 saw a total that is still down 7% year on year. July was down 23%, August up 3%, September down 2% and October down 1%, compared to the same periods in 2019. 

However, a number of categories spent more year-on-year in Q3 including, FMCG, supermarkets, publishing and broadcasting, telecommunications, food, government, charities and household stores, resulting in McCall’s positive forecast for the final quarter of 2020.

McCall went onto say that ITV has also now set its 2030 environmental targets, which include a commitment to become a Net Zero carbon business, and has continued to inspire positive change through charitable events and social purpose campaigns such as Soccer Aid, The Daily Mile, Britain Get Talking and Black Voices.

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