ITV recorded a 2% rise in overall revenues in the first six months of the year as it continues to benefit from growing its production business.
Total revenues hit £1.3bn, compared to £1.28bn in 2012, delivering a pre-tax profit of £179m, up 11%.
That countered a 3% drop in TV advertising to £741m, but the picture is looking much brighter in the summer, with ad revenue up 12% in July and 20% in August. The broadcaster expects sales to be flat overall for the nine months to the end of September.
Chief executive Adam Crozier is targeting a 50-50 split between advertising and production revenues, largely to protect ITV from advertising volatility.
And that plan appears to be working, with total revenues for ITV Studios – the maker of The Jeremy Kyle Show and Coronation Street – growing by 11% in the first half to £395m. Double-digit growth is expected across the year.
The UK production business as a whole increased revenues by 12% and international production rose by 16%, helped by the acquisition of US production companies Thinkfactory Media and High Noon.
Crozier said: “We’re making good progress with our strategy of growing and rebalancing the business as we build new revenue streams and improve margins.
“We expect both ITV Studios and Online, Pay & Interactive to deliver double digit revenue growth for the year as a whole as we continue to rebalance and strengthen ITV.”
Across all its channels, ITV’s share of viewers rose by 1%, with the main channel also up 1%.