ITV, the British broadcaster behind successes including Love island and The Voice UK, took a massive £ 156million ($ 215million) blow to its profits at the height of the coronavirus crisis, as the pandemic hit the advertising market and shut down production.
ITV’s adjusted EBITA was £ 573m for the full year 2020, down 21% from £ 729m in 2019. Total group revenue fell by 16% to nearly £ 3.3 billion in the same period, according to financial results released on Tuesday. Earnings per share fell 22% to 10.9 pence.
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall acknowledged the drop in performance, but said the company was still exceeding expectations. “While total revenue and earnings declined, our financial performance exceeded expectations, driven by a strong fourth quarter end and our strong cost control,” she said.
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Advertising revenue was £ 1.57bn for the year, meaning it fell 11% from £ 1.76bn in 2019. That said, ITV has reported encouraging signs in the fourth quarter, when ad revenue rose 3% from 2019. The broadcaster expects ad sales to fall 6% in the first quarter, but is now seeing “positive trends” with April expected to be rising. between 60% and 75%. Listening on ITV channels fell 4%, while streaming also fell 5% after sporting events and summer were canceled. Love island.
ITV Studios has had a difficult 12-month period after 230 of its shows were impacted or delayed by Covid-19. The industry’s revenues fell by £ 452m, or a quarter, to £ 1.37bn. EBITA was down 43% to £ 152m as the cost of refitting the shoots took its toll. ITV said 90% of shows were back in production after the industry reopened last summer. ITV Studios has launched orders, including a renewal of the third season of SnowPiercer at TNT and Netflix, and CBS’s commitment to Love island in the USA
Amid the struggles of the pandemic, ITV pulled £ 116million in costs from the business, nearly double the forecast of £ 60million. “ITV acted quickly from the onset of the pandemic and worked with genuine determination to successfully manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while continuing to invest in our future,” said McCall.
Elsewhere, the company revealed that BritBox, its joint venture streamer with the BBC, now has 2.6 million subscribers worldwide. This includes a 50% increase in the number of users in the United States and Canada. BritBox UK, which has originals including Spitting image, reached half a million subscribers in January. “BritBox UK saw good subscription growth during the year and as expected the lockdown restrictions as well as the increase in content and distribution of the service increased the number of customers signing up during the period. free trial. We continued to see strong appeal to subscribers and into January 2021, ”ITV said.