ITV released its financial results for 2019 Thursday (March 5), reporting an increase in revenues to £3.3 billion (US$4.26 billion) and growth for its television production arm ITV Studios.
The British broadcaster’s total external revenues were up 3% from £3.2 billion in 2018. Earnings, however, dipped 10% to £729 million in 2019 and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) decreased 10% to 13.9p — down from 15.4p in 2018. ITV total advertising revenue was down 1.5%.
Love Island (pictured) producer ITV Studios’ organic revenue, meanwhile, climbed 9% with external revenue up 12%, largely due to “the phasing of deliveries” and a “solid pipeline of new and returning shows,” ITV stated in a release. Earnings for the production arm were up 5% to £267 million (compared to £255 million in 2018).
ITV’s total broadcast revenue decreased 2% to £2.06 billion in 2019, while adjusted earnings fell 17% to £462 million.
Elsewhere, the broadcaster reported subscriber growth for BritBox U.S., the streaming service created by ITV and BBC Studios, as it reached a milestone 1 million subscribers this week.
Looking ahead, ITV forecasts total advertising revenue to be up 2% in the first quarter of 2020 while “early indications” suggest that ad revenue will fall 10% in April.
“In March and April, we have seen an impact from travel advertising deferments relating to the Coronavirus. All deferments to date have been included in this guidance,” the company stated.
ITV continued that “despite the ongoing economic uncertainty around the outlook for the UK following its departure from the EU” it expects to deliver revenue growth over 2020 and that ITV Studios revenues will increase by at least 5%.
“At this stage it is too difficult to assess the further implications of the Coronavirus but we continue to monitor the situation closely,” ITV stated.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said in a statement: “Thanks to the hard work of our teams across the business, our full year results have come in ahead of expectations helped by revenue growth in the second half of the year in ITV Studios, advertising and online. We are making good progress in each area of our strategy and our investments in data, technology, online and in streaming will enable ITV to be a sustainable, diversified and structurally sound digital media and entertainment business.”