* Broadcaster says 2012 ad revenue will be broadly flat
* Says production arm performing strongly
* Shares up 5.6 pct, top FTSE riser
(Adds analyst reaction, shares)
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Nov 13 ITV allayed fears about
Christmas demand for advertising slots on Tuesday after
companies deserted the broadcaster in the summer when the
Olympics and Paralympics attracted large audiences for rivals.
Britain's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, home
to period drama "Downton Abbey" and reality show "I'm a
Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here", said net advertising revenue
(NAR) for the year would be broadly flat, outperforming the
wider television market.
NAR for the nine months to end-Sept. edged ahead of the year
before to 1.08 billion pounds ($1.71 billion), it said, as a
strong performance from the Euro 2012 soccer championship was
offset by drops in July and August, when the London Olympics and
Paralympics diverted viewers.
Shares in the group rose 5.6 percent to 91.6 pence by 0928
GMT, topping the FTSE 100 leaderboard.
Analysts at Numis said it was a "strong" update, and they
upgraded the company to "buy" from "add".
"Despite early scare stories on fourth-quarter advertising
which indicated a mid-single digit decline, ITV has outperformed
the market and expects Q4 to be down just 2 percent," they said.
"By category, retail has shown improvement after a soft
first-half while tech is benefiting from the tablet Christmas
and telecommunications from 4G," it added, in reference to the
high profile advertising campaign from EE for its new 4G mobile
ITV said its production division, ITV Studios, was trading
strongly with total revenue up 20 percent to 498 million pounds
The company said on Tuesday its total external revenues rose
4 percent to 1.57 billion pounds, with non-NAR revenues up 15
percent to 730 million pounds.
ITV, which currently has "The X-factor" as the centrepiece
of its weekend schedule, ended the period with net cash of 90
It said total cost savings would be around 30 million pounds
in 2012, 10 million pounds ahead of target.
"The economic outlook remains uncertain and we continue to
see monthly volatility in the UK television advertising market,
but the underlying trends have not changed," said CEO Adam
($1 = 0.6302 British pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by James Davey)