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ITV scoffs at ad slump as production arm hauls in cash

What TV crisis?

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ITV has reported a revenues 11 per cent higher, and profits 15 per cent higher than a year ago, before accounting for exceptional items and tax. Revenues topped £1.28bn and pre-tax profits were £235m.

The commercial broadcaster's primary revenue source – advertising – is weaker than a year ago, with spending flat this year. But ITV now sees more revenue from other sources. For example, it makes more of its own programmes that sell overseas. ITV's production arm, ITV Studios – which is what Granada TV is called these days – saw revenue rise 34 per cent, and non-ad revenues were £106m higher than a year ago, bringing in almost half of ITV's income.

Amazingly, foreigners want to watch The Jeremy Kyle show - and their broadcasters pay for it. Hell's Kitchen is another less obvious export.

ITV spent £275m buying back bonds at above par, resulting in a £36m interest charge. The broadcaster has bought back £937m of debt, and recorded £499m of borrowing on the balance sheet.

Online, pay and interactive revenue – which includes deals with Sky, LoveFilm and Netflix – was £47m, up 24 per cent on last year, but still a small part of the overall picture, and a number exceeded by "other commercial income" such as sponsorship, of £81m.

Viewing was down 1 per cent, with ITV1 losing 3 per cent of its audience. ®

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