LONDON May 15 ITV, Britain's biggest
commercial free-to-air broadcaster, warned its net advertising
revenue would fall sharply in the second quarter due to a tough
comparative with last year when it showed matches from Euro
The home of soap opera "Coronation Street" and period drama
"Downton Abbey" said on Wednesday its net advertising revenue
was up 6 percent in the first quarter, ahead of forecasts of 5
percent, but it is expected to fall after that.
Ad revenues are seen down 12 percent in April, down 7
percent in May and down between 12 and 15 percent in June. They
are expected to be positive in July.
Overall, ITV said it expected its net advertising revenue to
be down around 3 percent in the first half.
"As we anticipated, the quarterly pattern of demand from
advertisers in 2013 is very different to 2012 although we expect
it to even out over the course of the year," Chief Executive
Adam Crozier said. "While we are cautious about the outlook for
TV advertising for 2013, our objective remains to outperform the
market over the full year."
Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said he expected the shares to
fall on the statement as the predicted drop in the second
quarter was worse than expected, however he suggested investors
should buy on a weak price as the comparatives in the second
half of the year become much easier.
Crozier, CEO since 2010, has been steadily weaning ITV off
its dependence on volatile advertising markets, seeking instead
greater revenue streams from television production, online, pay
and interactive businesses.
The strategy has served the group well, with the shareprice
up over 95 since he took over in April 2010, steadying the group
and enabling it to pay a 156 million pound ($238 million)special
dividend after strong full-year earnings in February.