ITV Revenues Up 11% To $871M; Boss Downplays Nordic Acquisition Chatter

UPDATE, TUESDAY AM: ITV has been on a shopping spree this year with its most recent acquisition, Britain’s Big Talk Productions, announced just last Friday. But ITV chief Adam Crozier told reporters on Tuesday morning that, for the moment, the company is “not looking” at further shingles in the Nordic regions where it is also active. That should lay to rest recent speculation that the UK’s leading private broadcaster was mulling a £90M ($134M) takeover of Helsinki-based Nice Entertainment. Crozier’s comments came on an call discussing ITV’s half-year results. The company this morning reported a revenue hike of 11% to £568M ($871M). The increase was primarily driven by in-house producer ITV Studios and the company’s online, pay and interactive divisions. ITV Studios revenues were up 11%, to £395M, with overall EBITDA up 11% to £291M. The company says it is on track for cost savings of £20M as part of Crozier’s five year transformation plan. Net debt was £52M. Net advertising revenue is expected to be broadly flat for the nine months to end September, but the company says it is “confident of delivering double digit revenue growth in Online, Pay & Interactive and ITV Studios over the full year.” Crozier said, “We’re making good progress with our strategy of growing and rebalancing the business as we build new revenue streams and improve margins.” Of the recent acquisitions which also include controlling stakes in Duck Dynasty producer Gurney Productions, Thinkfactory Media (Hatfields & McCoys) and High Noon Entertainment (Cake Boss), Crozier said, “We’re showing real momentum in our strategy of creating a robust international content business and in building substantial strength and scale in the U.S. market.” ITV also holds controlling stakes in the UK’s The Garden and So Television, Norway’s Mediacircus and Tarinatalo in Finland.

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