LONDON: ITV executive chairman Michael Grade has delivered glad Yule tidings to the wise men of Wall Street and London EC2, announcing that ad revenues are likely to increase by 3.5% in the second half of 2007.

In a trading update, Grade declared the company, and most significantly its flagship ITV1 channel, had made "measurable progress" this year.

Claims Grade: "On-screen ITV1's performance has been much improved; we have assembled a formidable senior management team; and we've seen real growth in the whole television advertising market over the second half of the year."

Total ad revenues are expected to be down 0.6% in 2007, including December. Net ad revenue at ITV1 is in line to fall 4.4%, but a 32% rise to £209 million ($424m; €291.6m) in digital channel revenues should go a long way toward making up the deficit.

The numbers are a significant improvement on 2006 which saw overall revenues slide 8.4% and ITV1 plummet by 12.4%.

Comments Richard Oliver, head of investment at Universal McCann: "ITV is in a more confident and bullish mood than in any other year since 2004."

Grade added: "Our focus for 2008 is on implementing the turnaround plan set out in September and maintaining the positive momentum in ITV1's viewing performance."

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK) and; additional content by WARC staff