Downton Abbey‘s UK broadcaster ITV reported its interim results today with the group’s external revenue up 4% to £1.57B ($2.49B). Non-net advertising revenue was up 15% to £730M ($1.16B), driven by production arm ITV Studios, maker of such programs as Hell’s Kitchen and the upcoming Mr. Selfridge with Jeremy Piven. ITV Studios is expected to turn a profit of over £100M ($158.7M) for the year “and the number of new commissions and recommissions already secured for 2013 gives us confidence that there will continue to be good underlying growth in the Studios business,” boss Adam Crozier noted.
Continuing its five-year transformation plan, the company says total cost savings this year will be about £30M ($47.6M), or £10M ($15.87M) ahead of target. The advertising market has been “broadly flat,” Crozier said. Given one-off broadcast events this year including the London Olympics, ad revenues fell 10% in July and 9% in August as many Britons turned to the ad-free BBC. But a drop of only 1% in September put ITV in “positive territory” over the first nine months of the year. Crozier said the event programming impacted ratings, but added, “We do not expect our viewing performance in 2012 to impact our advertising share in 2013 and we are focused on growing our share of viewing next year.” Flagship channel ITV1 had a 15.6% market share in terms of viewership to the end of October, down 6% on the same period last year.