LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - ITV, Britain’s largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, posted a better-than-expected 16 percent rise in first-half profit, and said advertising had picked up in the current quarter.
The broadcaster of drama “Broadchurch” and soap opera “Emmerdale” reported first-half adjusted pretax profit of 270 million pounds ($414 million) on Tuesday, on revenue up 2 percent to 1.3 billion pounds.
It said net advertising revenue across its channels fell 3 percent in the six months, as expected, but would recover by 9 percent in the current quarter, giving a broadly flat outcome for the first nine months.
It is facing an easy comparative against a year ago, when advertisers were diverted by the London Olympics, plus there has been a recent pick-up in advertising, helped by competition between BSkyB and BT in sports television.
Analysts at Citi were expecting ITV to report revenues of 1.13 billion pounds and adjusted pretax profit of 256 million pounds, against consensus of 1.11 billion pounds and 263 million pounds.