Love Island broadcaster ITV hit by tumble in ad revenues as it suspends dividend

·2 min read

THE slump in advertising revenue during lockdown hit ITV hard, and the future is so uncertain it cannot give guidance to the City on how trading will go.

The broadcaster behind Coronation Street, The Chase and Love Island saw ad sales tumble 21% to £671 million in the six months to June.

Profits, even on an EBITA basis, halved to £159 million. No dividend will be paid.

Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive, said: "This has been one of the most challenging times in the history of ITV. I am really proud of the way that our colleagues have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and helped demonstrate the enduring value of ITV as a Public Service Broadcaster. ITV continues to inform and entertain the nation throughout this crisis, across our six channels including 10 hours of live broadcast every weekday as well as increased content on ITV Hub and BritBox.

"While our two main sources of revenue - production and advertising - were down significantly in the first half of the year and the outlook remains uncertain, today we are seeing an upward trajectory with productions restarting and advertisers returning to take advantage of our highly effective mass reach and addressable advertising platform, in a brand safe environment."

ITV is targeting cost cuts, but still expects to spend £960 million on programming this year.

The company had to suspend programme making but says Coronation Street and Emmerdale restarted filming in June.

The shares, 250p five years ago, opened today at 61p.

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