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ITV Reports 3% Drop in Revenue in First Quarter

Variety logo Variety 5/10/2017 Henry Chu
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ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster, reported a drop in revenue of 3% over the first quarter Wednesday, despite growth at ITV Studios and a strong performance by ITV America.

Total revenue during the quarter ending March 31 came in at £731 million ($950 million), down from £755 million ($982 million) in the same period last year. Fueling that drop was a 6% fall in broadcast and online revenue.

But the company’s production arm, ITV Studios, generated 7% more revenue than last year, rising from £322 million ($419 million) to £343 million ($446 million). And its viewership share was up by 4% on its main channel and by 32% online. ITV airs such popular programs as “Broadchurch” and “Britain’s Got Talent” and long-running soaps “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale.” It was also the home of “Downton Abbey.”

Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive (pictured), said overall financial expectations for 2017 remained unchanged.

“ITV’s overall performance and the shape of the U.K. advertising market are very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged,” said Crozier, who is stepping down from his post at the end of June.

“We expect to grow our share of broadcast and will continue to deliver good growth in Online, Pay & Interactive, driven by strong demand for online advertising,” Crozier added. “We are confident that ITV Studios will report good organic revenue growth for 2017, and we have already secured over 75% of the expected full year’s revenue. We remain on track to deliver £25 million overhead savings and a £25 million reduction in the program budget with the absence of a major sporting event.”

The goal of cutting £25 million in overhead costs in 2017 was announced last year. Crozier said at the time that the cuts, which would involve “some” job losses, were necessary because of the economic uncertainty prompted by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Crozier has been at the forefront of ITV’s effort to lessen its dependence on advertising and to build its production capabilities. ITV Studios produces more than 7,000 hours of content a year and has gone on an acquisition spree, buying a host of production companies.

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