ITV chief executive Carolym McCall said on Wednesday that the broadcaster is “cautiously optimistic about the year ahead” after reporting total revenues of £709M in Q1, up 2% on the same period last year (£694M).
McCall said that advertising revenues are rebounding substantially after last year’s pandemic-induced dip. April was up 68% year-on-year and the company is forecasting May to be up 85% and June to be up 85-90%.
Total ITV Studios revenue was up 9% in Q1 at £372M, while media and entertainment revenue was down 3% at £484M as national lockdown measures continued to have an impact. Total advertising was down 6% but online revenue rose 14%.
“The advertising market and worldwide productions remain exposed to the risks associated with the pandemic,” warned McCall. “Accordingly, we continue to closely monitor the situation in all the countries in which we operate.”
As the UK looks to continue its exit from lockdown, the upcoming schedule looks promising for ITV, with the European soccer championships beginning in mid-June and popular reality series Love Island on the horizon.
ITV noted that Covid-19 restrictions around the world continue to delay the delivery or productions, particularly international dramas, but said the majority of its show have been able to get into production.
McCall added, “We remain committed to investing in the acceleration of our strategy to digitally transform ITV which will, in part, be funded by the delivery of our cost saving targets.”