ITV: Strong performance and plans to charge for popular shows online

28th July 2011

Advertising revenues at the broadcaster, whose hit shows include X Factor, rose 2% in the first six months – slightly worse than other broadcasters.

Yet ITV has announced that it is to pay a dividend this year, despite falling advertising.

The dividend has been set at 0.4 pence per share. It is the first dividend from ITV since the first half of 2008, reports the BBC.

Damian Reece comments in the Daily Telegraph: "Previously on the show, shareholders were subjected to years of under-performance, falling revenues and audience figures. Executive chairman, Sir Michael Grade, was written out of the script last year and a new set of characters introduced, principally Adam Crozier as chief executive, and Archie Norman in the role of chairman.

"…Now at 69p, the shares are enjoying a run. When Crozier arrived just over a year ago net debt was £612m and the talk was of a rights issue. It is now down to £52m as both costs and cash have been prioritised.

"…But consumer advertising will always be volatile (the summer will be weak, September better) so Crozier's plans to grow revenue from more diversified sources, such as paid for programming on both television and online, sales of new programmes and related spin-offs, are so crucial."

Pre-tax profits for the first half rose from £118m a year earlier to £204m, while revenues were up 4 per cent to just over £1bn.

Meanwhile, Fans of British television in continental Europe will be able to access a large library of UK content on-demand for the first time by the BBC's new iPlayer application for Apple's iPad, reports the Financial Times (paywall).  

The tablet app is available from today in 11 European territories from BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, as part of a year-long trial before making the iPlayer available more widely around the world.

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