ITV plc (LON:ITV) saw its shares rise this morning after the commercial broadcaster said its full-year guidance remains unchanged with pressures on its advertising income likely to ease in the third-quarter as it reported in-line first-half results supported by growth from its production and online businesses.
The FTSE 100-listed firm said its ITV family net advertising revenue (NAR) is expected to fall by around 4% in the third quarter, compared with an 8% drop to £769mln in the half-year to June 30.
The ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Broadchurch’ broadcaster saw its total first-half revenue fall by 3% to £1.458mln, with 6% growth in non-NAR income partially offsetting the advertising revenue decline.
ITV saw its total ITV Studio revenues increase by 7% to £697mln, including £42mln of currency benefits, while online pay and interactive revenues rose by 5% to £112mln.
The group - which recently announced that Carolyn McCall would leave budget airline easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) to be its new chief executive – saw its first-half adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) fall by 8% to £403mln.
Peter Bazalgette, currently the broadcaster’s executive chairman, said: “ITV's performance in the first six months of the year is very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged.”
The firm is to pay an interim dividend of 2.52p, an increase of 5%, reflecting its “confidence in the underlying strength of the business.”
In reaction, ITV shares gained in afternoon trading, rising 1.82%, or 3.22p, at 179.90p.
In an initial note to clients, analysts at Liberum Capital said: “Q3 NAR guided to -4% but July looks much better than expected at -5% and the -4% is predicated on September being at the low end of the flat to -5% range so there could be upside.”
They reiterated a ‘buy’ rating and 320p price target on the commercial broadcaster.
-- Adds share price, analyst comment --