ITV's Grade Bullish on Ad Revenue Growth

10 August 2007

LONDON: The boss of the UK's biggest (but struggling) commercial TV broadcaster says things are looking up for the company. ITV executive chairman, Michael Grade (pictured) believes prospects for the fall are brighter, with a return to advertising revenue growth after many months of decline.

He expects growth of 1% at flagship channel ITV1 and a 4% increase across the whole group.

Says Grade, who took on the task of turning round the broadcaster's fortunes late last year: "I am encouraged that so many of the numbers are beginning to move in the right direction [after] ... moving in the wrong direction for a long time."

He will unveil detailed plans for the company's financial recovery next month but added: "ITV is a huge market leader. It just needs a bit of TLC. When the advertising market turns up you've got to have the product there."

ITV's first half results show a 39% slide in pre-tax profits to £105m ($212m; €154m) compared with the year earlier period. Revenues during H1 were $1 billion, a decline of 7%.

However, Lorna Tilbian at Numis Securities commented: "We believe ITV is making good progress on factors within its control and there is scope for regulatory assistance."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff