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ITV outperforms ad market boosting profits, revenue


CEO Adam Crozier remains cautious and focussed on the need for creative renewal

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A recovery in advertising boosted ITV’s results pushing up revenues 10 percent to £2.06 billion and helping the broadcaster outperform the advertising, the company said on Wednesday.

The television broadcaster said adjusted pretax earnings was up nearly 300 percent to £321 million, from £108 million last year, thanks to the strong recovery in advertising and cost cutting.

ITV said it planned to restore its dividend in July but it had not yet decided on the payout level as it remained cautious on the economic outlook and has work to do to improve areas of the company, including its online output and creative division.

Shares in the group, home to such shows as Simon Cowell's X Factor and long-running soap opera Coronation Street, were up 5 percent to 90 pence, valuing the company at £3.6 billion and improving its chances of making it into the FTSE 100 when the blue-chip index is reviewed on 9 March.

The company said it had reduced net debt to £188 million from £612 million in 2009, providing a sound financial platform for the future.

“Whilst the recovery in television advertising is clearly very helpful, it also serves to remind us just how volatile this market can be,” said CEO Adam Crozier.

"And that is why we remain fully focussed on delivering our five-year transformation plan to ensure we have a more balanced and robust business going forward."

Studios profits fell to £81 million, down from £91 million in 2009, highlighting the need for creative renewal already identified, the company said.

Crozier, who joined the broadcaster last April, has been scathing about its previous strategy and wants half ITV's revenue to come from non-advertising sources such as pay-TV, sponsorship, content creation, online income and product placement.

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