Home Estate Planning ITV reports revenue drop due to ‘challenging’ advertising market

ITV reports revenue drop due to ‘challenging’ advertising market

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ITV has today reported a drop in overall sales for 2023 despite an uptick in digital revenue and a record performance from its ITV Studios business.

In a year in which the company repositioned itself for “higher sustainable growth,” ITV recorded a two per cent decline in total revenue, but a four per cent jump in sales at its Studios business, pushing revenue at this arm to a record.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 32 per cent to £489m for the year as a whole. The decline reflected a “decline in linear advertising” as well as extra investment in the group’s digital streaming platform ITVX.

The group reported a 19 per cent growth in digital revenue, which offset a 15 per cent in linear advertising, a result of the “challenging advertising market.”

Higher levels of investment as well as the drop in EBITDA meant the company’s debt rose to one times EBITDA at the end of 2023, compared to 0.8 times at the end of December 2022.

The group announced a final dividend of 3.3p per share, giving a full-year dividend of 5p, flat year on year.

The company also reiterated its previously announced commitment to return £235m to shareholders via a share buyback following the sale of its share in Britbox International to the BBC, which was announced last week. It said the buyback would commence today.

Carolyn McCall chief of ITV said: “In 2023 we saw the benefit of the actions we have taken to reposition ITV towards higher sustainable growth. Our Studios business recorded the highest ever revenues and profits and in its first year ITVX delivered strong growth in viewing and digital revenue with investment on plan.

“We remain confident in delivering our KPI targets, and are making good progress towards these – most notably ITV Studios organic revenue growth of 5% on average per annum between 2021 and 2026 at a margin of 13 to 15% and to deliver at least £750 million of digital revenues by 2026.

“2023 was the year of peak investment for Streaming, which together with the successful execution of our strategy and the efficiencies delivered to date have made ITV more robust. ITV has a leading, scaled, global Studios business, a high growth Streaming service and a cash generative linear advertising business. This ensures that we are well placed to grow profits from here as we continue to drive material efficiencies, invest behind our strategic priorities and deliver returns to shareholders.”

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